Nikes turns London into a game board to engage young people in identifying as runners

I was not blessed with happy feet. I loved to run when I was in elementary school. I loved the individual challenge of the dash and loved the team spirit of the relay. But running (and even walking) hurt my tender feet. I put up with wearing embarrassingly ugly orthopedic shoes in elementary school, orthotics in high school including a steel arch support, and by my early 20s, I’d learned to deal with chronic pain. Nikes changed my life. I bought my first pair at a shopping mall in Florida – I fell in love with the bright yellow, stand-out-in-a-crowd shoes with the electric blue swoosh stripe. I could walk, run and dance without pain for the first time in my life.  I wore them everywhere. I still wear them everywhere. My daughter, two decades later, got the first Nike running shoes with the sensor that connected with her iPod and gave her feedback on her running. So I’m not surprised to see Nike engaged Wieden+Kennedy to gamify running by turning London into a game board. The two-week competition called the GRID is in full play right now – there’s a window into the action on the GRID website. Stamen Design in San Francisco is providing awesome visualizations using data flowing in from the runners via London phone booths. They’re providing the genius behind the video above and this one on the YouTube NikeGrid channel showing day runners slaying night time vampires….

Fast Company gives some great backstory and the Wieden + Kennedy blog goes into core objectives and game design. As of this writing, the Grid site reports 2997 players and 337 teams.

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