Nike just ‘did it’ and has done it better than every other sporting goods manufacturer for a long time. They’ve motivated us to want to be better than we are – athletically, and do it in a spirited and fun way. Welcome to the gamification of ‘civilian sports’. We’re all competitive in our own way - if you say you’re not, you’re lying. What I love about what Nike has done is that they’ve taken that competitiveness and made a game of it. With Nike+ and Nike Fuel, Nike is – as they say – ‘Making Life A Sport’. Along the way, they are gathering TONS of data around individuals and their workout habits – which will, in turn, predicate products of the future. Add a social layer to it – as they do with both Nike+ and through their Fuel Band (both linked to Facebook and Twitter) they have an army of ‘athletes’ marketing their products – without spending a dime. Pretty ingenious if you ask me. Game On, World.
Nike released their newest LIVESTRONG spot today… I’m a huge Tour geek, and an ardent Armstrong fan. I just hope he can recover from his flat on the pavé in Belgium. This was filmed on the final climb for this year’s Stage 7 – Station des Rousses – the first day in the Alps. Hey Lance – continue on your promise to be ‘The Hammer‘.
Think about the social communities that are successful – they build upon people’s passions – gaming, photography, technology, parenting. Nike has built a phenomenal community with Nike+. It’s the people that are passionate about running and sharing their efforts that makes the community successful – kudos to the folks over at Nike for recognizing this. Nike has done a great job of building an online area that helps people celebrate their successes, ask for advice, track their progress towards personal goals, and join others in discussions about their training and racing experiences.
In addition, Nike has identified key areas where they can ‘add value’ to the community experience – simple things like providing a ‘goal’ or ‘challenge’ area to keep members of Nike+ motivated and driving towards a target. There is also a virtual coach that will guide you towards a tailored program to achieve the goal that you have set for yourself – be it a marathon, half marathon, or simply shedding a few pounds and increasing their commitment to fitness.
Finally, they have focused on a key partnership with a technology giant that everyone recognizes – Apple. By pairing the iPod and Nike+ the community is able to download coaching sessions and workout song mixes directly from iTunes to help power them through their next session. Hat tip to Nike for recognizing what’s important to their running/fitness community and providing them with the tools that keep them coming back for more. Through this, they’ve built a following to their site that is very loyal and returns regularly to contribute to, and gain from, a community experience.
USATF Nationals just wrapped up this past weekend in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon (Track Town USA). Nike just signed on to continue it’s sponsorship of Nationals until 2013 with and option to continue through 2017, ensuring positive funding for the championship event for years to come. Thank you Nike for being such an ardent supporter of Track and Field. Here’s a little humor coming out of their creative team that was posted to their official Nike Running Blog, but will likely never make primetime TV.
I am finding more and more that when I watch TV, I actually watch the commercials – whether I’ve DVR’d the show or not. If I am zipping through what I’ve recorded, I still pay attention, and if something catches my eye, I stop, rewind and watch. That happened last night. I found the newest Gatorade spot, featuring Tiger Woods, very interesting. Upon first blush, I really thought it was a Nike commercial (other than a very small mention of ’Gatorade’ Tiger on the voiceover) - notice the Nike logo on the front of Tiger’s hat, the Nike logo on the ball, and the TW logo (his sub-brand within Nike Golf) on the back of his hat. Next you see a Nike visor on the next animated character. It’s not until 30 seconds in that you see any visual glimmer that this is a Gatorade spot, and it’s very subtle - a logo on a sign… Only at the end do you get the full pitch from Gatorade on their ‘Focus’ offering.
Interesting tactic – leverage the halo of the Nike brand (down to Tiger’s famous Nike Golf spot) and the overall Tiger ‘brand offering’ to give lift to your product. Final note – you go to Gatorade’s site, and there is no mention Tiger under the ‘Athletes‘ section – only under the Focus Product Line. Intentional? Probably – if there is one person that’s excellent at protecting their ‘personal’ brand – it’s Tiger.
Music and running – it just goes together. Now you can ‘mix’ your own workout playlist with the new Nike Treadmill on Pandora. Feeling sluggish? Want the tempo of your music to reflect your pedestrian pace – dial back the Speed Slider to 1, but make sure you push your Endurance Slider to 10 to get burn those calories. Pandora is just now starting to do some different forms of advertising within their digital experience…the key for me – they are innovative and relevant. Now strap your iPod to your arm and hit that treadmill!