Nike is promoting its new SneakerBoot collection (boots inspired by its bestselling sneakers) with a pre-Christmas hiking pop-up in New York’s Bowery district that is unusually focused on urban cultural inspiration.
Designed by LA-based multimedia artist Steven Harrington, renowned for his street-style ‘psychedelic pop’ aesthetic, Hike Nike NYC features artwork highlighting the SneakerBoot’s history, alongside a curated edit of winter gear. This includes Nike’s new Tech Fleece Aeroloft range and an exclusive preview of the NikeLab ACG apparel collection, designed with Erollson Hugh, founder of German technical apparel brand Acronym (see also LDF 2015: Brand Spaces).
Pushing the thematic, the store is also the base of five one-off urban hikes exploring hotspots central to Manhattan’s rich cultural history, enabling participants to pre-test the SneakerBoots. US punk singer John Joseph McGowan will lead participants to locations that underpinned the 70s punk-rock scene, while streetball coach Bobbito Garcia will share the beginnings of basketball en route to the West Fourth Street Courts and Rucker Park. Fans sign up via Nike’s website, shrewdly driving traffic back to its e-commerce business.
While many brands are courting outdoors enthusiasts (see Seizing The Outdoor Sports Boom), Nike is shrewdly tapping into those sports fans with an appetite for urban life. Nearly 50% of US outdoor consumers now live in or near cities (Outdoor Industries Association, 2015) – a demographic deemed to be seeking a combination of performance and style.
The pop-up runs until November 29.
For more on Nike’s curated brand spaces, see Nike’s Women-Only Boutique and Nike’s Try-Before-You-Buy Pop-Up. For more on the value of test-based retail experiences, see Beta Brandscapes, Sports Retail Reinvented, Future Stores: Brand Hubs & Product Playgrounds and Product Hubs: Experimentation & Co-Creation.