Nike’s Olander: “Democratizing sports data a tremendous opportunity”

Data collection is still primarily limited to pro sports, Nike (s NKE) vp, digital sport Stefan Olander said Monday at GigaOM RoadMap. But everyday athletes — people who run for fun — want “simpler ways of harnessing all that activity information” and still want to be motivated and inspired. So the company sees “democratizing sports data [as] a tremendous opportunity” to create “a more active and informed sport community around the world.”

Olander told Wired senior editor Mike Senese that Nike’s sports technology — which allows people to track their runs, times and physical activity, among other things — has been successful because “people want credit. That’s one of the ultimate drivers for us as humans” and it’s “propelled everything we do at Nike+.” Forty percent of the runs completed through Nike’s GPS running app are shared on either Facebook or Path.

Getting that credit is another reason why Nike chose the wrist for its FuelBand, whereas competing technology Fitbit can be clipped to clothing or put in a pocket. Clip-on or pocket devices can get lost or can fall off too easily, Olander said. Plus, everyone can see your wrist and “you want to have this…as a symbol of your goal.”

Check out the rest of our RoadMap 2012 live coverage here, and a video recording of the session follows below: