"A true interactive experience that merges the physical and digital worlds. It cleanly delivers information to the user that is easy to find and navigate." —juror Edward J. Heinz Jr.
"Engaging people’s individual passion to turn a local sport into a worldwide, history-making, running collective." —juror Amber Bezahler
Overview: On August 31, more than 800,000 runners, from every corner of the globe, raced against each other in the Nike+ Human Race with Nike+ enabled shoes, effectively blurring the lines between the physical and virtual worlds. With a little help from technology, runners around the globe came together, virtually and in-person, to challenge and inspire each other, and raise money for some very worthy causes. The online experience created a place for participants to sign up for the race, choose one of three global charities to run for, set up team challenges, customize training programs and check to see if they’d won.
• On race day, blog features allowed regional content providers to post content specific to their region in their native language.
• Race information—start times, end times and results—were displayed on an interactive map on the homepage.
• A media player not only played music and video, but also allowed users to buy the tracks on iTunes.
Comments by Donald Oliver, Thomas Chan and Cesar Marchetti:
How did your relationship with the client evolve over the course of the project? "Our relationship with Nike was a key ingredient in the success of this project. The size and scope of the Nike+ Human Race extended far beyond the site; it was critical that we kept the overall goals of the event, and Nike's goal for Nike+, top of mind with every decision. Having a partnership in place with that common perspective, and having these goals at the forefront of our decision-making process allowed us to focus on delivering a successful platform."
Were there any specific demands that made that made the project easier or harder? "The Nike+ Human Race was a very difficult project to staff, which had nothing to do with our capabilities, or resourcing; the problem was that everyone wanted to run the race. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to participate. However, we were able to set up a system of shifts that allowed several of our team members to break away to run."
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Integrating the site into Nikeplus.com was quite a feat, done in an incredibly short amount of time. One of the things that people may not notice is how much work went into the design and layout. The vision for the design was clear, but we had to account for a very large amount of content and imagery; it also needed to be accessible all over the world and the design had to be flexible enough to display many different languages. We had many issues with multi-byte characters, such as those found in Chinese, Spanish and Turkish. To address those problems, we wrote our own version of sIFR to display characters in those languages using a custom font because, at the time, it did not support multi-byte characters."