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WHEN: Today, Thursday, March 17th
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"
Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Nike CEO Mark Parker and CNBC's Sara Eisen on "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) today, Thursday, March 17th. Following are links to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000502200 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000502424.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
CARL QUINTANILLA: NIKE MAKING SOME BIG PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS IN NEW YORK TODAY INCLUDING WHAT YOU PROBABLY HEARD ABOUT A SHOE THAT TIES ITSELF. OUR SARA EISEN IS WITH MARK PARKER, THE CEO OF NIKE. HEY SARA.
SARA EISEN: HI CARL. GOOD MORNING. YES, I AM HERE WITH MARK PARKER AT THEIR INNOVATION SUMMIT. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK ON CNBC.
MARK PARKER: GREAT TO BE HERE.
EISEN: SO CARL JUST MENTIONED THE SELF TYING SHOE. THAT IS THE BIG BUZZ OF THE MOMENT. THIS HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING.
PARKER: OH YES, IT HAS.
EISEN: HOW MANY YEARS, SINCE BACK TO THE FUTURE?
PARKER: IT'S BEEN REALLY SINCE BACK TO THE FUTURE. 30 PLUS YEARS SINCE THE ORIGINAL IDEA. SO HERE WE ARE TODAY. THIS IS INCREDIBLY EXCITING.
EISEN: SO THERE'S A LOT OF HYPE. MY QUESTION IS WHO EXACTLY IS GOING TO BE BUYING THIS? WHAT DOES THE MARKET LOOK LIKE?
PARKER: I THINK THERE'S A WIDE RANGE OF PEOPLE THAT ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN THIS WHOLE SELF LACING ADAPTIVE PERFORMANCE. OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE THE SNEAKER HEADS WHO ARE ALL OVER IT. I MEAN, THIS HAS BEEN A BUZZ FOR THEM FOR YEARS. THERE WAS ACTUALLY A WRITE IN PETITION TO NIKE TO POWER THROUGH AND GET THE POWER LACES IN A PRODUCT. SO, IT'S GREAT TO BE ABLE TO PUT A PRODUCT OUT THERE THAT IS A STEP TOWARD THE FUTURE OF ADAPTIVE PERFORMANCE.
EISEN: IS THIS LIKE SELF DRIVING CARS WHICH EVERYONE THINKS IS GOING TO BE THE FUTURE? IS THIS GOING TO BE MAINSTREAM LIKE THAT?
PARKER: I THINK SO. ABSOLUTELY. THAT'S A GOOD ANALOGY. I THINK THE PERFORMANCE THAT ADAPTS TO YOU REAL-TIME TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS AS AN ATHLETE IS GOING TO BE A PART OF PRODUCT MORE AND MORE AS WE HEAD INTO THE FUTURE.
EISEN: SOME PEOPLE ARE COMPARING IT TO FLYKNIT WHICH YOU INTRODUCED AND DIDN'T REALLY GET TRACTION RIGHT AWAY. BUT NOW IT IS, AS YOU KNOW, ESSENTIAL TO THE PROCESS AND THE PRODUCT. IS THIS THE NEXT FLYKNIT?
PARKER: WELL FLYKNIT STARTED AS A SINGLE SHOE AND NOW IT'S IN ALMOST EVERY SPORT CATEGORY. I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE, YES, ADAPTIVE LACING IN THIS CASE START OFF SMALL. WITH A TYPE ONE PRODUCT AND THEN YOU'RE GOING TO SEE IT MOVE INTO OTHER CATEGORIES LIKE BASKETBALL AND RUNNING AND OTHER COURT SPORTS. IT WILL BECOME MORE UBIQUITOUS, I THINK, AS WE MOVE FORWARD.
EISEN: BUT HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST?
PARKER: WELL, WE'LL SEE. WE DON'T HAVE THE PRICE SET. THAT'S SOMETHING WE'RE WORKING ON. THE SHOE IS COMING OUT LATER THIS YEAR. SO THE PRICING IS STILL YET TO BE DETERMINED.
EISEN: I WANTED TO ASK YOU QUICKLY ABOUT THE BROADER ECONOMY FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT. JANET YELLEN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE WAS CAUTIOUS ON IT. IS SHE RIGHT TO BE CAUTIOUS RIGHT NOW GIVEN WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN THE STOCK MARKET IN THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR?
PARKER: THERE'S A LOT OF ECONOMIC UPS AND DOWNS HERE THAT WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF, A LOT OF INSTABILITY AROUND THE WORLD. WE'RE FACING SOME FX HEAD WINDS AND THAT SORT OF THING. BUT I THINK WHAT REALLY DRIVES NIKE AND OUR BUSINESS IS WHAT WE SEE HERE TODAY, THE INNOVATION. THE PRODUCT. WE'RE NOT SEEING CONSUMERS BACKING OFF OF REALLY INNOVATIVE PRODUCT, GAME CHANGING PRODUCT. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ALL ABOUT. THAT'S WHY THIS EVENT AND WHAT WE'RE DOING WITH THIS NEW WAVE OF INNOVATION IS SO EXCITING.
EISEN: YEAH, I KNOW YOU CAN'T GET TOO DEEP INTO IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE EARNINGS NEXT WEEK, ARE IN QUIET PERIOD. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT ELSE YOU'RE RELEASING DURING THIS EVENT. THE NIKE PLUS APP. WHAT IS THE VISION HERE FOR YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY?
PARKER: WELL, THIS IS ALL ABOUT PERSONALIZED SERVICE FOR ATHLETES. SO ON DEMAND COACHING. IF YOU WANTED A WORK OUT, YOU HAVE A CERTAIN GOAL IN MIND, WE CAN ACTUALLY PERSONALIZE YOUR WORK OUTS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL. THERE'S ALSO A PERSONAL STORE ATTACHED TO IT AND THE MORE YOU INTERACT WITH NIKE PLUS THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT YOU AND THE BETTER RECOMMENDATIONS WE MAKE.
EISEN: IT'S SORT OF A CROWDED FIELD, THOUGH. A LOT OF YOUR COMPETITORS HAVE ALREADY SCOOPED UP APPS GETTING INTO CONNECTED FITNESS. WHAT MAKES THIS ONE DIFFERENCE?
PARKER: WELL I THINK THE FACT THAT THIS IS A FULL SERVICE, ONE STOP CONNECTED EASY ACCESS POINT IS REALLY WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. SO THIS IS BEST OF NIKE IN ONE ACCESS POINT.
EISEN: IS IT ABOUT E-COMMERCE AND THE RETAIL EXPERIENCE?
PARKER: THAT'S PART OF IT. ACTUALLY A PERSONALIZED STORE IS PART OF IT. SO YOU'LL HAVE ACCESS TO UNIQUE AND LIMITED PRODUCT AS A NIKE PLUS MEMBER. IT'S SOMETIMES HARD TO GET THAT PRODUCT WHEN IT COMES OUT THAT'S IN HIGH DEMAND BUT WITH A GUARANTEED RESERVE WE CAN MAKE THAT AVAILABLE.
EISEN: IT IS ANOTHER UPDATE THOUGH ON SOFTWARE AND WHAT'S NOTICEABLY ABSENT IS ANY HARDWARE. EVERY TIME WE TALK, YOU TELL ME YOU CAN EXPECT SOMETHING. YOU TEASE THE APPLE RELATIONSHIP. BUT SO FAR NOTHING. IS THAT NO LONGER HAPPENING?
PARKER: NO, NO. IT'S HAPPENING.
EISEN: WHAT IS HAPPENING?
PARKER: IT'S ALL IN THE WORKS. I CAN'T SAY, I CANNOT SAY. AND WE RECOGNIZE THAT DATA AND A DASHBOARD IS ACTUALLY IMPORTANT IN THE PROCESS OF AN ATHLETE, YOU KNOW, MOVING TOWARD THEIR GOAL. SO THAT IS A PART OF WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. AND THAT'S A PART OF NIKE PLUS. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE OTHERS COMING IN AS PART OF THAT PROCESS. OTHER PARTNERS. I'VE TALKED ABOUT APPLE BEFORE AND THAT RELATIONSHIP AND THAT WORK CONTINUES. WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT WHERE THAT'S HEADING.
EISEN: AND YOU'RE NOT GIVING UP ON HARDWARE?
PARKER: WELL, WE'RE NOT FOCUSING ON HARDWARE AS A NIKE FOCUS. THAT'S NOT OUR EXPERTISE I THINK IS TO PUSH THE HARDWARE PIECE OF IT. AND THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT HARDWARE AND SENSING AND TRACTION IS NOT A PART OF CREATING THE DATA THAT WILL HELP DRIVE THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WE'RE CREATING. SO THIS IS REALLY ABOUT MAKING IT EASY. YOU KNOW IT'S HARD ENOUGH TO GET FIT AS IT IS. SO OUR JOB IS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE AND THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT.
EISEN: A LOT OF THESE PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE COMING AHEAD OF THE RIO OLYMPICS WHICH I KNOW YOU'RE GEARING UP FOR. WHAT IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT FROM NIKE DURING THESE OLYMPIC GAMES?
PARKER: WELL, THE LEVEL OF INNOVATION IS UNPRECEDENTED FOR NIKE ACROSS THE BOARD AND WE'RE SWEATING EVERY LITTLE DETAIL. AND YOU'VE SEEN SOME OF THAT OVER THE COURSE OF THIS LAST DAY AND YOU'LL SEE MORE OF IT COMING OUT TODAY. EVERY SPORT PRETTY MUCH THAT WE REPRESENT, WILL HAVE A WAVE OF NEW INNOVATION. REALLY DESIGNED IN CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ATHLETES. SO THIS HAS BEEN A MULTIYEAR PROCESS OF WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH ATHLETES TO CREATE BREAK THROUGH INNOVATION.
EISEN: THERE'S ALSO NEW CHALLENGES IN BRAZIL, THE ECONOMY IS IN RECESSION, THERE'S POLITICAL UPHEAVAL AND THERE'S AN OUTBREAK OF ZIKA. HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH ALL THAT?
PARKER: WELL, YOU KNOW, WE TAKE THAT VERY SERIOUSLY. OBVIOUSLY THE ATHLETES HAVE TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT'S RIGHT FOR THEM. BRAZIL –
EISEN: ARE ANY OF YOUR ATHLETES THINKING OF NOT GOING?
PARKER: I'VE NOT – I'M NOT AWARE OF ANY ATHLETES PULLING BACK AND SAYING THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE ATTENDING. THAT'S A CHOICE FOR THE ATHLETES IN THE END, BUT WE'RE NOT HEARING THAT. SO I THINK IT'S UP TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION WORKING WITH BRAZIL TO SORT OF MINIMIZE ANY ISSUES ON THAT.
EISEN: IS NIKE DOING ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY IN TERMS OF PRESENCE ON THE GROUND BECAUSE OF WHAT'S GOING ON?
PARKER: WE'RE NOT ADJUSTING OUR STRATEGY SO MUCH. WE'RE JUST MAKING SURE THAT THE ATHLETES WHO ARE PARTICIPATING AND THAT WE'RE A PART OF THE NIKE EXPERIENCE DOWN IN BRAZIL ARE AS WELL TAKEN CARE EVER AS POSSIBLE. THIS IS THE BIGGEST MOMENT IN THEIR LIVES AS AN ATHLETE. SO WE WANT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE THAT THE BEST MOMENT.
EISEN: I DID WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT ATHLETES BECAUSE SO MUCH ATTENTION RIGHT NOW IS ON THE YOUNGER STARS. STEPH CURRY WHO WE'VE TALKED ABOUT BEFORE, YOUR COMPETITOR HAS. JORDAN SPIETH. SOME OF THE YOUNG HOT SHOTS ARE WITH YOUR COMPETITOR. YES, NIKE HAS THE BEST ATHLETES IN THE WORLD – THE LEBRONS AND KOBES AND TIGERS, BUT THEY ARE ESTABLISHED AND SOME OF THEM ARE RETIRING. IS THAT A FAIR COMPARISON?
PARKER: WELL, I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENTIRE CAST OF ATHLETES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH NIKE, IT COVERS QUITE A RANGE OF ATHLETES. IT'S NOT JUST THE OLDER ESTABLISHED ATHLETES. WE HAVE QUITE A FEW YOUNG ATHLETES COMING UP THROUGH THE COLLEGE RANKS. AND, YOUNG PROFESSIONALS ACROSS ALL THE SPORTS. WE'RE VERY HAPPY WITH THE ROSTER OF ATHLETES THAT WE HAVE. IT'S REALLY EXCITING. I MEAN, THEY REALLY ULTIMATELY DRIVE THE INNOVATION THAT DRIVES THE COMPANY.
EISEN: WHO IS THE YOUNGEST BIGGEST STAR THAT YOU HAVE?
PARKER: WE'VE GOT QUITE A FEW IN BASKETBALL. WE GOT KYRIE WHO IS DOING INCREDIBLY WELL, FOR EXAMPLE. AND REALLY, YOU LOOK ACROSS ALL SPORTS. YOU'LL SEE YOUNGER ATHLETES HERE IN THE OLYMPICS AT RIO REPRESENTING THEIR COUNTRIES AS WELL. SO WE'RE VERY EXCITED.
EISEN: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE SO SWIFTLY TO SUSPEND MARIA SHARAPOVA?
PARKER: WELL, AGAIN, IT'S A SUSPENSION. IT'S NOT A TERMINATION. WE TAKE ALL THOSE ISSUES CASE BY CASE. SO WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THOSE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS AND TRY TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION. IN THIS CASE IT'S A SUSPENSION, AND WE'LL STAY CLOSE TO THE SITUATION, SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT AND MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION.
EISEN: ALSO WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT TRADE. AND THE ELECTION. NIKE HAS BECOME THE POSTER CHILD OF A COMPANY THAT BENEFITS FROM TRADE. WE WERE TOGETHER WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS ON YOUR CAMPUS TO TOUT THE TPP AND NOW TRADE HAS BECOME A POLITICAL PUNCHING BAG. WHY DO YOU THINK THE ANTI-TRADE SENTIMENT IS RESONATING WITH VOTERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE?
PARKER: WELL, WE CONTINUE TO FEEL THAT FREE TRADE AND 21STCENTURY TRADE POLICY IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO THE U.S. ECONOMY AND GLOBALLY AS WELL. WE THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE AT THE TABLE WHEN THAT POLICY IS BEING DEVELOPED. SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR NIKE. WE THINK IT'S A JOB CREATION POLICY. TPP AND MODERN TRADE POLICIES SHOULD BE ABOUT CREATING JOBS AND WE'RE CONVINCED THAT TPP WILL HELP JOBS. IN OUR CASE, IT WILL CREATE 10,000 DIRECT JOBS WE THINK OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS PLUS ANOTHER 30 TO 40,000 INDIRECT JOBS BECAUSE OF THE TRADE.
EISEN: SO, IF THE NEXT PRESIDENT RIPS UP SOME OF AMERICA'S TRADE AGREEMENTS TO RENEGOTIATE, WHAT WOULD THAT DO TO YOUR BUSINESS?
PARKER: WELL, WE'LL CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD. I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, THIS WOULD BENEFIT OUR BUSINESS. IT WILL HELP US ADVANCE MANUFACTURING AGENDA HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, WHICH IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US. WE'LL CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD. IT MAY NOT BE AT THE ACCELERATED PACE THAT IT WOULD BE WITH A TRADE AGREEMENT IN PLACE, BUT WE'LL CONTINUE TO LOOK AT HOW WE CAN LOCALIZE MANUFACTURING AROUND THE WORLD.
EISEN: ALL RIGHT. THANKS VERY MUCH, MARK, FOR TALKING ABOUT A RANGE OF ISSUES THERE. MARK PARKER IS THE CEO OF NIKE. WE'LL SEND IT BACK TO YOU GUYS AT POST9.
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