When you think of the SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music Festival, sports doesn’t immediately come to mind. Nike has officially changed that by making their message clear; life is a sport. By essentially taking over a street block at this year’s edition of the prestigious festival with a fusion of sports, technology, and live music, Nike unveiled their Nike+ FuelBand to Austin, the live music capitol of the world, in a never-before-seen manner. (The Nike+ FuelBand is available now in limited supply. You can purchase it here.)
Austinites were witness to the power of Nike on multiple levels, as they offered chances for fitness and music enthusiasts to make it count.
During the day, Austinites worked out at the Nike+ Fuel Lot. Activities during the week of SXSW included a skateboarding demo, interactive training session from Martin Egwuaga of Nedu Fitness, and fans even got a chance to let out their inner-Blake Griffin in an eight-foot slam dunk contest judged by NBA Texas legends George “The Iceman” Gervin and Robert Horry.
Aware that SXSW and Austin represent a music mecca, Nike teamed up with Vevo to reward those who purchased the Nike+ Fuelband during a special pre-sale, granting the FuelBand owners VIP access into some of the hottest shows at SXSW, including The Shins, Sleigh Bells, Major Lazer, Girl Talk, Neon Trees, and Nas. At a $150 retail price, anyone could have justified getting the FuelBand based on access to the shows alone.
Throughout the events, attendees were encouraged to chronicle the ways they were involved by uploading photos to Twitter with the hashtag #Makeitcount. The results, as you can see on the LED screen outside the Nike+ Fuel Lot below, were equally innovative and inspiring.
While the spectacle of Nike’s presence at SXSW was remarkable, the product behind the campaign lives up to the hype. Plus, it has the “cool” factor Nike always seems to bring with their product creation. (There have been at least five times a random person on the street or at a concert has stopped me to ask me about my FuelBand, often commenting that it looks like something out of Back to the Future II. You know you’re doing something right when that happens.)
The Nike+ FuelBand, which has been in the works for two years, is a 3-axis accelerometer contained within a rubber wristband that changes the way we look at physical fitness. Activity is no longer about mixing in a workout once a day. The Nike+ FuelBand aims to push beyond that narrow approach, and instead reward FuelBand users for every form of action they’re involved in, whether it be an intense cardio workout or a walk up a long flight of stairs (Sometimes the two are mutually exclusive, after all.)
One of the most appealing features of the FuelBand is its real time feedback on your daily progress, which is measured in Nike Fuel and seen on an LED display on the band. By constantly monitoring how close you are to your daily goal, which can be customized through a corresponding iPhone App or on your computer, the FuelBand owner can constantly push themselves to their individually desired level of fitness.
In addition, the FuelBand offers a duality of activity incentives; keeping track of your personal streaks which you can share on Facebook and Twitter, and also includes the Nike+ Missions App so that you can compete against your friends and the Nike+ community to hit goals.
With its seemingly limitless interactive components heading into the future, the Nike+ Fuelband aims to change how we live out the day (Keep in mind this is the first edition of the FuelBand). If the SXSW campaign is an organic preview of what’s in store, there is no limit to the ways the Nike+ FuelBand will make it count.