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Campaigns Editor's pick

New Balance pub only accepts miles ran as currency

New Balance is incentivizing people to go for a run with a London pub where the only currency accepted is miles ran.

The pub, called “The Runaway”, is part of the sportswear brand’s Everybody’s Race campaign, and aims to support and empower runners as they train for the upcoming London marathon, happening on April 28.

Participating runners must log in their miles on running app Strava, and all miles logged go towards the Runaway Card ,a digital credit cart that can be used at the venue. They are given a set of four incremental running challenges in the lead up to the marathon, such as the current challenge, where running 20 miles can ‘buy’ two drinks, and 40 miles, three. All miles are logged into the Runway Card, a digital credit card that can be used at the pub at specific dates.

The pub is meant to act as an “escape and reward when needed, and a hub for the running community to come together and support each other,” says Samantha Matthews, senior marketing manager at New Balance UK & Ireland. Also featured downstairs at the pub is a gym, where runners can do complementary exercises like weights.

New Balance’s “Runaway” challenges on the Strava app

New Balance has been diversifying its approach to engaging with consumers as the fight for the top spot in the sportswear market shows no signs of slowing down, dominated by Nike and adidas. Last year, it deployed AI to spot trendy NYFW goers and reward them with free sneakers.

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Campaigns

ASICS unveils blackout running track to highlight the importance of mental strength

The ASICS Blackout Track
The ASICS Blackout Track

ASICS has unveiled the Blackout Track, a sports track in east London aiming to help runners win the ‘mental race’ by freeing them from any distractions.

The 150-meter course is set in complete darkness and features no technology, no music, no finish line and none of the other comforts associated with training for a marathon, thus forcing the runner to focus on synchronizing the mind and body. The initiative supports the launch of the Gel Kayano™ 25 shoe.

“ASICS was founded on the belief that a sound body fuels a sound mind, so this campaign goes right to the heart of who we are as a brand,” said ASICS’s global CMO Paul Miles. “Our promise is to bring our founder’s vision to life in the modern-age – where negative distractions of the mind can prevent us from reaching our potential and going the distance.”

During the launch campaign, the track will also host a series of events to demonstrate the idea that in running it’s not the strongest physique that goes the long distance, but the strongest mind. Events include a 10K ‘mental marathon’ and a scientific experiment that shows the importance of mental strength for physical fitness.

“By exposing how easily the mind can be influenced, the campaign is designed to remind athletes of any ability about the importance of training both the mind and body, to reach their goals in sport and life,” said Fiona Berwick, strategic planner in ASICS’ global marketing team.

The track initiative was inspired by a technique practiced by long distance runners such as the Japanese, in which they run in loops for one or two miles without any technology.

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Campaigns Editor's pick technology

adidas to create 30,000 personalized videos for Boston Marathon runners

adidas at the Boston Marathon
adidas at the Boston Marathon

adidas will be using individual RFID tags to create 30,000 personalized videos for runners participating at the 122nd Boston Marathon happening on April 16. The feature is part of the “Here to Create Legend” campaign, which also helps commemorate the sportswear brand’s 30-year partnership with the Boston Athletic Association (BAA).

To achieve the feat, adidas will be using data generated by RFID chips on the runners’ race bibs, such as pace and split times, combined with ultra-high frequency radio signals fed from street mats to antennas. In order to create each individual video, the company is working with digital agency Grow to capture footage using seven cameras and a 20-person crew stretching the 26.2-mile length of the course. Moreover personal footage will be captured at the 15K finish line.

In order to efficiently deliver the individual videos to runners within hours of the race, adidas has completed trial runs at other races and developed shot lists, sound effects and pre-set camera angles that will help the team eliminate excess footage and edit more speedily.

“We’re capturing the excitement, support and celebration that is Boston in a way no one has ever done before,” said Paul Bowyer, head of adidas Running US “In our 30th year of partnership, adidas and the BAA are creating an epic moment for Boston by harnessing the power of technology and 30,000 runners and to highlight the pride, firsts, wins, personal records and energy of runners who will become legends on April 16.”

To access the film after the race, runners will receive an email from the BAA with a link, while videos will also be available at heretocreatelegend.com and searchable via bib numbers.