Mikal Peveto, Director of running, adidas North America: the RBR Interview, on adizero Rush, adidas focus on light/faster, by Larry Eder

Mikal Peveto.jpg
Mikal Peveto, adidas director of running, North America, photo courtesy of adidas communications

Updated & Reposted on February 14, 2012, 8:15 PM

Mikal Peveto, aka Peev, is a lifer in this industry. In his second life at adidas, Peev gave us some time on the new adizero Rush. He also spoke about adidas heritage and where adidas is going. A good read....

Dear & Gentle readers: I reposted this piece tonight, as none of my edits were saved and I had spelt Mikal's last name wrong. Thanks to Peev's considerable charm, and sense of humor, the interview is now, what it should have been last night, a good read. My sincere apologies, perhaps a flashback or senior momento.

Mikal Peveto and Sam Rathburn.jpgMikal Peveto, aka Peev, and Sam Rathburn, aka Rush, shoe designer, fighting over
adizero Rush (could this be staged?), courtesy of adidas communications

RBR,# 1: What can you tell us about adizero?

Mikal Peveto:  adizero started as answer to the unique needs within the Japanese market, where lower, lighter and faster is the norm. One size fits all over there. The answer out of Tokyo was adizero.  The concept is to run in as little shoe as possible.

1939 Marathon.jpgadidas 1939 Marathon flat, courtesy of adidas communications

RBR, #2: Essentially though, adidas has built lightweight shoes forever, they are called racing shoes? adizero is that experience particular to your product in Japan?

Mikal Peveto: Yes, adizero is a decades worth of experience, from building premium-racing shoes and track spikes.

adizero rushviewer.pngadizero Rush, photo courtesy of adidas communications

RBR, # 3: So, where did the adizero Rush come from? This is multi category, correct?

Mikal Peveto:
Two years ago, the company took our experiences from Japan, across all sports categories. Light is better and "light makes faster". This is something that translates to every sport, from a first down in football, to the first to the ball is soccer, to the first to the finish in running. Being faster resonates with every athlete.

RBR, #4: So, why is adidas so excited about this product?

Mikal Peveto: This is the culmination, a broad based product covering the needs of any athlete. At adidas, we are focused on the high school-college athlete, in that 14-25 age group. We call them the Next Gen athlete. This has been the fastest growing segment in our business. The  industry driven by lightweight, and it is resonating in basketball, where the market shifted to lightweight. adidas has a 9.8 oz basketball shoe, called adizero Crazy Light, that leads this trend. Our 7.5 ounce adizero Rush is made for going fast. This is a perfect shoe for the cross country runner, cornerback or safety where speed is everything.

RBR, # 5: adidas seems to be on a comeback, tell us about that.

Mikal Peveto: Yes, our business is up at unprecedented level over last two years. And, adizero is the tip of the spear. Even more than light, these are the technologies that help propel you forward. We have a 7.5 oz, "go fast" shoe, within a full sprint frame, and a  full length thermoplastic plate. We understand that energy return, minimizing the loss of energy, in the forefoot, at toe off, any amount of energy that you don't loose, you maintain.

RBR, #6: So, you see the adizero Rush as a trainer/racer?

Mikal Peveto: If you are the JV runner, sixth, seventh, man on the team, and you have not fully committed to the sport, then this is the perfect shoe: perfect for track, you are in spike zone with that range. We talk about sub 4 minute mile, like Lukas Verzbicas did at the adidas Grand Prix NYC or the sub 4 hour marathon. The name of the game is going faster, they would love to have 3:59.59 in that finish line picture.

RBR, #7: How was the golden mile and 100 meter received?

Mikal Peveto: Lukas Verzbicas broke four minutes in our race. The  conditions were cold, windy and rainy. I think, knock on wood, if the weather is a good, that there is a chance that a sprinter like Bracy could run under ten seconds. Leonard Scott was big & strong and Bracy is a wide-receiver too.The 100 is a strength event and Bracy just broke the High School 55m record, off of football! The Dream Mile & Dream 100 have established us at the pinnacle of high school athlete.

Mutai_GeoffreyPush1b-NYCM11.jpgGeoffrey Mutai, 2011 ING NYCM Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

The adizero Rush as trainer/racer, the guy who won NYC (Geoffrey Mutai), wore the Rush, actually the Feather, the global version of the Rush, so, it is validated.

RBR, #8: Why should the high school athlete consider adidas?

Mikal Peveto: We have the largest lightweight collection and the longest tenured lightweight collection. In 2011, we won the 100 meters (Yohan Blake) at the World Champs. We have the second fastest 200 meters (Yohan Blake, 19.26). adidas is valid: Derek Rose, to Justin Upton, to Eric Berry, to Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake. These are part of the adidas arsenal of athletes used to validate product.

Ennis-Gay-Vlasic-Wariner-EmpireSt11.JPGJessica Ennis, Tyson Gay, Blanka Vlasic, Jeremy Wariner, some adidas top athletes in track & field, 2011 adidas NYC GP, photo by PhotoRun.net

Link to Shoe Addicts video on Geoffrey Mutai, victor of 2011 ING NYCM:
Shoe Addicts Present: Geoffrey Mutai 

Special thanks to Caitlin Albaugh, adidas communications, and Mikal Peveto/adidas running.

For more on adidas, please check: adidas.


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