In this episode of the SLN Podcast, we speak with Mikal Peveto. Mikal is Head of Aō Air for North America, an innovative air filtration mask coming to market later this year. As a former colleague of his at adidas, Mike, along with many others, call him Peev. Peev cut his teeth in product innovation leading business units and divisions for brands like Nike, adidas, and Fila.

Podcast Highlights

4:11 – Running for mental awareness: “I can work through my issues. It just comes pretty quickly and you know, it takes about 10 minutes to get into it and then you’re in that zone and you’re just thinking through all of your issues and trying to look through creative solutions. And so, I mean, that’s for me the single greatest thing about running beyond the health benefits is just the mental awareness.”

7:27 – Nike and adidas Influence: “It definitely had an impact on me and they just know their creativity and they kind of invented a lot that sports marketing, or perfected it, and things like the special shoes.  At Nike, I learned to channel the passion that I had inherently learned and adidas really allowed me to put it in practice.”

16:05 – The quintessential adidas shoe:  “If you close your eyes and you just imagine Adidas, it’s just this clean shoe, three prominent stripes and minimal everything else.”

23:05 – Working with John Epstein from FILA: “Probably one of the most interesting people and best people that I ever worked with. And for sure he was misunderstood in a lot of ways, cause he’s obviously larger than life personality but he had an amazing eye for product and for trends.”

27:28 – The Boost changed everything: “Finally along comes Boost and it really changed everything. It was a key missing piece of the puzzle that allowed the company to flourish.”

32:08 – Air Pollution statistics: “Almost 12,000 runners in the 2014 Beijing marathon dropped out due to air pollution. And the pollution was 50 times greater than the world health organization standard guideline. 7 million people a year die. 13 people a minute are dying because of air pollution.”

34:35 – Flaws with masks: “Well, it’s absolutely better in this case with this pandemic to wear any coverage over your face, that’s a proven right and clear. The real issue is if there is a particle in the air and the virus COVID-19 particle is significantly smaller. A break in the seal exposes you to that risk.”

35:54 – Ao Air filtration system works 50% better than masks: “Essentially what we do is quite simple and novel.”

40:10 – Capturing Respiration Data: “We’re capturing respiration data 20 times a second. Able to look at the peaks and the valleys and the distance between those peaks and formulate basically the volume of air which will allow us to very accurately perform things like VO2 max.”

41:39 – Working with Oregon Sports Angels and the power of Ao Air: “Ultimately we’ll be able to have pretty much one of the most powerful wearables in the market today.”