A few weeks ago, I read a story about the Nike Explore Team (NXT) and the Nike Sport Research Lab (NSRL), where we test our latest innovations and gather insights from the world’s top athletes. On September 16, we launched the LEBRON 12, a breakthrough basketball shoe born in the NSRL. There are too many innovations to list here, but the key point is that no other company can do what we do - take insights from the world's most elite athletes and turn them into innovative products that help every athlete maximize their potential. 

The story reminded me of my favorite Nike products Ð some are new innovations, some are classics, and others are inspired by the markets where we operate. But all of them are uniquely Nike, and help illustrate the breadth of Nike innovations.

First, I have a confession: I love the Tech Fleece. Really. Love. It. If you could peek in my closet, you’d see almost every color we’ve ever made. The fabric takes layers of jersey and foam to provide the comfort of traditional fleece and performance you can’t find anywhere else. Check out my favorite silhouette from the 2014 Tech Pack Ð the Fleece Funnel

It doesn’t get any more classic than the Air Max. Since the Air Max launched in the 1980’s, our product teams have created dozens of styles to match the needs of different consumers. The Air Max Thea is an updated women’s take on the classic, and it’s perfect for me. I love the low-profile, minimalist look Ð it works at the gym or on the street. They’re light, comfortable, and always with me when I’m on the road.

Since 2010, Converse has collaborated with Missoni, the Italian design brand, to create stand-out versions of classic Converse sneakers. The latest is the Converse X Missoni All Star, a high-fashion kick with a great patterened upper. Check out the photo below in my snapshots.

My son, Tim, is half Chinese, and whenever I can get him something unique from China it’s a very good thing. This year, Jeff Nichols, VP of Global Factory Stores and DTC Operations, Sarah Jolley, GM of Nike Stores in Greater China and Daphne Deng, GM of Nike Factory Stores in Greater China, helped me find a pair of Nike SB Dunk Low “Beijing” shoes for Tim. I can’t wait to give them to him for Christmas! Nike has created many premium expressions to celebrate Chinese New Year, but the detail of this shoe is fantastic. Take a look. 

Finally, some of you know that I’m a Stanford Alum. I am constantly searching for Stanford product, and own almost every women's tee we offer for the Cardinal! This year, there’s a new design that’s a must-have. 

Here are some shots I compiled from a variety of sources of some of these products in action. 

/> Air Max Thea from this past summer. I have to get my hands on this one! I just picked up the Converse X Missoni.
Love this Tech Fleece. Can't wait to give these to my son. LeBron James during the LEBRON 12 global media launch event at WHQ.

It’s that time of year again! Voting is open for the 2014 Nike Global Maxim Awards. The nominees this year are truly inspiring, with several DTC teams among the finalists.

DTC is represented in nominations across five categories: 

Maxim 0.3 - Women's Amplified

Maxim 0.4 - Nike.com Product Launch Experience

Maxim 0.7 - Nike.com Geo Expansion

Maxim 0.9 - Greater China Sell-Thru Attack

Maxim 0.10 - Nike Do Brasil World Cup Activation

Congratulations to all of our DTC nominees. Thank you for all of your hard work. Don't forget to vote by Friday, October 3.

Special Note: I have 30 tickets to the Maxim awards ceremony on Thursday, October 9 at 3pm at the Tiger Woods Center. If you'll be at WHQ that day and would like to attend, click here to request a ticket. The tickets will go to the first 30 people who request them. Good luck!

Last month I mentioned a Zero story on our NFS Oklahoma City, Okla., team and their work to help the local community recover from a devastating thunderstorm. This story is part of a new monthly series on Global Zero called Spotlight on DTC. So far, the series has covered our Nike Huaihai team in China, Joanne Alvarez at Hurley Sawgrass and Erica Young at NFS OKC, and Bill Schaming from North America. Keep an eye out for new Spotlight on DTC stories every month on Global Zero. Thanks to our Global DTC Comms team for helping showcase our amazing field teams to the rest of Nike. If you have a story idea for Spotlight on DTC, let DTC Comms know.

Finally, Nike reports Q1 FY15 earnings this Thursday, September 25. To hear a webcast of the earnings call, visit that page at 1pm Pacific time on Thursday.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. Send me an email