New Balance’s Bright Dome Turns Heads at X Games
New Balance had two sure ways to get noticed at the X Games in Los Angeles. First, to attract attention in a sponsor village dominated by branded trailers and the same old black tents, the shoe manufacturer set up a bright red dome loaded with interactives. The second was the unusual tactic of guerrilla marketing at an event that it also sponsored. (We’ll get to that in a second.)
Inside the big top, the mix of activities included a nod to the sneaker-customizing craze, with artists from both coasts and a team of NB’s in-house designers putting their marks on pairs of NB Zips. New Balance later photographed the custom kicks and posted images to a brand-specific site that eventually drew more than 106,000 unique visitors.
The brand also wanted visitors to test out the technology behind the shoes, so a display invited guests to bounce away on a platform built like the soles of the shoes themselves. Nearby, an oversized craps table let players roll biggie dice for chances to win premiums, and a small tent next door was reserved for a dj and regular performances by a group of dancers wearing their own NB Zips.
Then, there was the guerrilla activity: NB targeted spectators with a marching band playing music several times per day, while cheerleaders and NB runners distributed premiums. To cap it all off, New Balance infiltrated the athletes’ lounge, distributing shoes to players and team managers. And to help ring registers, the company partnered with Sport Chalet retail stores, offering consumers an X Games poster as a gift with purchase.