Nike Golf Speed Trials Drive Demos and Amplification
If there’s one word to describe Nike Golf marketing, it’s confident. That’s what it took to mount one of its most robust consumer trial programs ever, the Nike Golf Speed Trials, which from March through mid-May took place at hundreds of golf courses and retailers across the country. The Speed Trials gave consumers the chance to experience Nike’s fastest lineup ever, the VR_S club line. And the program provided the brand a way to build awareness and incite trial of the series, improve industry and consumer perception of Nike Golf Club performance and drive incremental sales.
Nike challenged consumers to compare the speed and distance of clubs in their current bag, as well as other demo clubs, to the new Nike VR_S products on a launch monitor. Participants’ cumulative distances were tallied and recorded on a national leader board. Results also were amplified across p.r., social and digital channels. To add even more energy, consumers could win prizes at various retailers, including a VIP day on the course with Tiger Woods, a 2012 Chevy Camaro, Nike VR_S golf clubs and a spot in a Richard Petty Driving School. iPads were used for data capture, consumer results and pre- and post-surveys. Brand ambassadors shared real-time event highlights with each other through Yammer. A collateral piece/QR scorecard directed participants to their online results. Participants also received a post-event email with personalized stats and sign-in information for the Nike Golf microsite, which was optimized for desktops, iPads and iPhones and included an event locator and leader board.
While the entire experience was hosted at nikegolf.com, the entire website was also embedded on retailer partners’ websites. Giving consumers instant real data that compared their performance using Nike Golf products versus competitors removed the subjectivity of trying new clubs. The real-time data motivated golfers as they were able to compete for gaining distance on store, regional and national leader boards. The digital component of the Speed Trials helped Nike get the word out about the new clubs. There was virtually no paid media spend, so the company relied on “owned” and “earned” to drive awareness and store visits. It communicated using the Nike Golf website, participating retailer websites, its email newsletter, staff network, 600,000-plus Facebook fans and 380,000-plus Twitter followers.
The digital component also facilitated immediate consumer registration, offered instant access for the participants after the event to see their results and enabled Nike Golf to connect with net promoters and communicate with these consumers post-program. The results were a hole-in-one. The 679 events and 14,725 Speed Trials raised Nike Golf’s Net Promoter Score by 119 percent. And Nike VR_S sales increased by an average of 72 percent during Speed Trials at participating retailers. No wonder Nike is struttin’.