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Nike Grind Recovery+

Recovered Nike Grind materials are used in sports medicine equipment to help injured athletes recover.

Photo of Alexandra Ralevski
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Injuries happen. But so does recovery.

Sports-related injuries are a frequent occurrence. According to the NCCA, from 2009-2014 there were an estimated 1,053,370 injuries to athletes among all college-level sports, representing an average of 210,674 total injuries per year. High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries each year, and more than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year. Most of these injuries require rehabilitation on the road to recovery, and the type of injury will determine what equipment is required. The global sports medicine market was valued at $6.4 billion in 2016, as in estimated to be worth $12.5 billion by 2025.

Nike can re-invest in athletes by using recovered Nike Grind materials to manufacture and improve sports medicine equipment, including equipment already manufactured by Nike, such as wraps and braces, tapes, cushioning supports, rollers and massage equipment, among others. Athletes can feel confident knowing that Nike is with them, no matter what stage of the game they’re in.

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"
  • Full Grain Leather Scraps
  • Split Leather Scraps Coated
  • Synthetic Leather

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Rubber materials can be used to create medicine balls, resistance bands, and rubber weights. Textiles can be used in athletic tapes and wraps, such as wrist, ankle, or thigh wraps. Foam can be used in insoles and heel/arch supports, mouth guards, and foam rollers. Leather can be used to make the different sports balls (basketballs, footballs, baseballs, etc) that can be used in training.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Professional athletes Amateur athletes Military veterans

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

Nike already has manufacturing streams in place to make several sports medicine products, and many of these streams can be replaced with Nike Grind materials streams. These products can then be returned to Nike stores to be re-used again. Additionally, Nike can collaborate with larger sports medicine manufacturers to provide materials to make additional products not currently manufactured by Nike.

How is your idea innovative?

It encourages the concept of circularity into an area that is not often seen as sustainable. Many people get injured once, buy a lot of equipment to aid in their recovery, and then never use it again. By using Nike Grind materials and encouraging individuals to recycle products they are no longer using, it promotes a feeling of sustainability and circularity that is much needed in sports medicine.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I am a postdoctoral associate at Yale University specializing in neuroscience and plant biology research. I am also a biomimicry consultant for top companies, and am always thinking of new and innovative ways for companies to improve their products.

In what city are you located?

New Haven

In what country are you located?


1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Chuck D

Hi Alexandra Ralevski -- I also commented on one of your car interiors entries, and this one intrigues me as well. I agree with your observation that bands, tapes & braces are a prime opportunity for extending a circular economy, as they're mission-critical to recovery for several weeks but usually sit unused beyond that.

The $8-billion global sports medicine market is a bit broad, and populated with numerous niche competitors. It would be interesting to isolate a launch product, then scale Product 1 while prepping Product 2 for a subsequent launch. Are you more inclined to take on a household name like KT in the wrap & tape market? Or to disrupt more of a no-name vertical like rollers & massage gadgets?

Seems like most sports medicine products require a significant investment in engineering & manufacturing. Any interest developing products in the lower end of that production spectrum like resistance bands?

Given the manufacturing cost, what can you share about your strategy for leveling operating costs as you scale?