When LeBron James was just 18-years-old, he inked his first endorsement deal with Nike, a seven-year $90 million contract. Since then, the now four-time NBA champ and MVP has only further solidified his relationship with the Northwestern activewear brand, signing a lifetime contract with the Swoosh label in 2016 that is reportedly valued at over one billion dollars. Since that time, James and Nike have entered into even more initiatives and partnerships, the latest of which sees the footwear outfit open a state-of-the-art 84,000 square foot research and development facility in LeBron’s name, located at the footwear brand’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Dubbed the LeBron James Innovation Center, the facility was designed by Seattle’s Olsen Kundig and houses what is reportedly the world’s largest motion-capture installation with more than 400 Mo-Cap cameras, 97 force plates, and a slew of other body mapping equipment. The multi-story structure also boasts more than 80 rapid prototyping machines, and four separate environmental chambers to recreate a variety of real-world climates and conditions. Built with a major focus on sustainability, the facility also utilizes a 100% renewable electrical system thanks to more than 900 solar panels lining the building’s roof, and sports low-flow fixtures that reduce water consumption by 40% and NSRL flooring made using more than 21,000lbs of Nike Grind. On top of obviously featuring multiple basketball courts, the LeBron James Innovation Center has also received a 200-meter endurance track, a 100-meter straightaway, and an artificial turf training pitch — allowing the center to host a myriad of different types of athletes.
The Nike LeBron James Innovation Center is now open and is expected to be responsible for a slew of envelope-pushing products in the coming years.