New Balance Uses Urban Race to Build Store Traffic
To excite New Yorkers about the opening of its first New Balance Experience store in North America, New Balance developed a four-week campaign centered on a proprietary mobile game called Urban Dash.
The brand challenged runners to race for the chance to win shoes and gift cards. Available from the Apple app store and the brand’s website, the app used GPS to show the user’s position in relation to virtual “batons” dropped all over the city. To pick up a baton, the runner had to get within 100 feet of it, where the app automatically recognized the baton. Then, the player had to run like mad to get to the new store before another player stole the baton by getting within 100 feet of the baton-holder, where their phone would make the virtual theft. Anyone who made it back to the store with a baton intact on the phone won a pair of exclusive New Balance shoes. Winners who collected two to six batons got $75 gift cards for each one, and the player who collected the most batons by the end of the contest won a solid gold baton worth $20,000.
For social media buzz, the brand also invited participants and fans to tweet their progress with the hashtag #nbnydash and post pictures on the New Balance Facebook page. The brand also promoted the game on local media.
By the end of the month, more than 1,000 people downloaded the iPhone application, the brand had racked up more than 74 million media impressions and each player averaged 22 miles and over two hours of game play. More than 55,000 consumers had face-to-face interactions with New Balance brand ambassadors, even if they weren’t taking part in the competition. More than 300 people lined up to get into the store the day it opened, and the store averaged more than 12,000 visitors per month in the months after it opened.