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Jordan Brand recruits sports science students for new Los Angeles store

Jordan Brand has taken the apparel shopping experience to a new level using sports science technology.

Christian Rivas/Silver Screen and Roll

LOS ANGELES — Jordan Brand will open the doors to its new Downtown Los Angeles location on Saturday, and Silver Screen and Roll got an early look at the three-story store which features an innovative new Flight Lab ran by Los Angeles-based sports science students on the second floor.

Jordan Flight Lab manager Malcolm Jones, a student himself, explained to Silver Screen and Roll what exactly a Flight Lab is, and why it adds a new, exciting dimension to the everyday retail experience.

“We’re all sports science students,” Jones said. “We’re either masters students or Ph.D. students, and we’re either physiologists or biomechanists in this space today. We use this Jordan Flight Lab as an opportunity to apply the research that we’re doing to real people and athletes, not just theoretically. We have our own research that we’re doing, but when Jordan has an event, they tell us what they’re highlighting and we scale our research to highlight that.”

Christian Rivas / Silver Screen and Roll

The team of sports scientists set up a series of athletic performance testing backed by analytics and on-site diagnostics to highlight the dynamics and comfort of the new Air Jordan 33. They did this using a variety of different tactics, including an interactive virtual reality experience that replicated the experience of running on different terrains at different heights using an adaptive treadmill. There is also a jumping box that records how long someone is in the air using cameras (I tested above average, for the record).

However, on days when Jordan Brand isn’t hosting an event, their resources will be made available to the public, Jones said.

“We’re here 365 (days out of the year). We’re here doing research. We have hours every day where we’re open to consumers to check out what we’re doing, be a part of the research and learn something. It’s a one-stop shop to make athletes — or anyone that uses their body as a means to be successful — better.”

But what’s technology and research like this doing at a store that sells sneakers and sweats? Well, beyond informing the public on their fitness, the sports scientists can recommend products for consumers to purchase to help address their weaknesses, some of which can be custom made on the same floor. The retail store is located on the first floor.

On the third floor, the store has a rooftop “Flight Deck,” which is a regulation sized basketball court. Believe me when I say this store is unlike anything you’ve been to.

The Jordan LA store will open to public for the first time on Saturday at 8:23 a.m. PST. If you can’t make it out then, you should still make sure to stop by and experience what Jordan Brand has to offer (and test your vertical).

You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.