Sweat Mecca: Nike's headquarters offers athletes a fitness feast
We all know “Bo knows.” But at Nike World Headquarters outside of Beaverton, Ore., Bo knows training and fitness. The 60,000-square-foot training center named after Bo Jackson makes that clear, but the impressive facility is just one of the fitness-focused sites on the sprawling campus southwest of Portland.
At the roughly 200 acres that make up the campus and surrounding Nike-owned and Nike-leased property, some 5,500 employees—Nike doesn’t give out official numbers—have access to not only the Bo Jackson center, but also the 75,000-square-foot Sports Performance Center (it once had Lance Armstrong’s name attached to it), multiple outdoor fields, tennis courts and an outdoor track and trails.
Let’s start in the Bo. Designed in 1989, the campus’s original fitness center has multiple weight rooms, a cross training room, yoga studios, racquetball and squash courts and aerobic rooms on three floors. Nike-sponsored athletes make regular appearances within the Bo, testing product and grabbing a workout when in town on business.
But that’s not all. A glass-encased basketball court ushers in the Oregon sunlight—when it does shine—and plays host to NBA teams desiring a workout ahead of games against the Blazers. Nike employees can sign up for multiple lunchtime leagues, pitting teams of similarly skilled players against each other. Of course, you never know when the likes of Kevin Durant will stop in when visiting Nike—as has happened—to shoot around.
Ringing the court, suspended above it, a two-lane track offers some indoor running options.Inside the lobby of the Bo, expect a lounge, drop-in childcare space, meeting rooms, lockers and showers.
Just out the back of the Bo, a full-sized turf field exists for Nike soccer leagues or even kickball leagues and product testing. The field is made from Nike’s Grind material, recycled Nike shoes.
If the Bo sits too far away from your office, wander over to the Sports Performance Center, opened in 2001, which features a glass-encased Olympic-size swimming pool. The two-story center’s 30-foot-high glass window walls also hold weight rooms, workout studios, a spin room and a rock-climbing wall.
Between the center and the Tiger Woods Center—the campus’ major conference center—you’ll find two full international-sized grass soccer fields—Ronaldo (the original Ronaldo, as made obvious by his statue located there) Fields—used for everything from football to soccer to lacrosse.
If you want to walk or run at 1 Bowerman Dr., you have options. A two-mile woodchip trail rings the campus, which is largely hemmed in by a berm created when crews excavated space for Lake Nike in the middle of campus. The trail even cuts through campus in parts.
Nestled in wooded property in the corner of campus you’ll find the five-lane, all-weather Michael Johnson Track where Nike-sponsored Olympians such as Mo Farah and Galen Rupp put spikes to the test.
Across the street you’ll find the 1.5-mile soft dirt Hollister Trail, named after a former Nike employee Geoff Hollister, offering a third outdoor running surface.
Nike ups the options for fitness activities on campus. Bo knows.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.