Sports brands have embraced gamification, apps and challenges in a bid to encourage a wide range of participants to get down to some exercise. We were recently impressed by two differing approaches from Nike and Under Armour.
Nike in Mexico has launched an online auction site for exclusive products, with a twist. People can only bid with kilometres they've run.
The initiative is part of the brand's #MakeItCount
campaign, with JWT
Mexico, to promote Nike's new shoes and build the Nike+ platform. The idea is to encourage people to
use the new Nike+ sneakers, which allow you to count your steps and
calories and upload your workouts to track your training through
specially designed software. As long as people run with the sneakers,
they will accumulate online kilometres they can later use to win the
product's online auctions.
Nike+ users have been heading to Nike Mexico's Facebook fan site
since 24 April and bidding their hard-earned kilometers on Nike products, such as a pair of Nike Free Run+ 5.0 sneakers for women. The more kilometres you're able to bid, the higher your chance of winning the goods.Under Armour
has taken a less product-led approach to encourage women to set fitness goals and share their stories for the chance to win a sponsorship deal.
What's Beautiful is a contest taking place over digital platforms that encourages women to set themselves fitness goals and share their
stories. Hosted by fitness apparel brand Under Armour (UA), participants need
to complete 19 challenges over nine weeks and document their progress
with photo and video footage alongside diary entries.
A shortlist of ten, decided by UA, will culminate in three winners being
named on 26 June. These women will then receive a one year sponsorship
deal with the brand, comprising UA gear and access to training and
nutritional advice, while runners-up will receive $1,000 of Under Armour
A short film above offers a description of the challenge, while the
home-page of the What's Beautiful site
is the central hub
for all the videos. Through ad agencies Crispin Porter + Bogusky
, Boulder and
Philadelphia-based Red Tettemer + Partners
, What's Beautiful is
being billed as a 'competition to redefine the female athlete'.
initiative cleverly links back to its products, rewarding runners for the miles they have racked up. Exercise visualised via Nike+ has become a currency, something Nike's
Fuelband reinforced by essentially branding energy under one comparable metric. But now it's gone one further with some smart
thinking that's absolutely in line with its positioning as a brand about
Under Armour's focus on semi-professional athletes treads the path that was adopted by Gatorade in 2009. Despite having a less direct path to purchase than Nike, the inspiring submissions see female participants sharing fitness tips and supporting each other, endorsing the product and building an understanding of what the brand stands for.