Last month the latest Nike Stadium location opened its doors – the Bowery Stadium in New York City.
Nike Stadiums reflect the trend of many brands (especially those in retail) towards what we call soft brand messaging. Unlike traditional advertising whose function is to deliver a sharp proposition that communicates a specific offer, soft brand messaging is all about giving people a brand experience to create a positive emotional bond with a brand. Brands we care about, brands we believe are a reflection of the way we wish ourselves to be seen own a distinctly unfair advantage when it comers to making conscious and unconsidered buying decisions. Whether buying a $5 burger to a $500k sports car, when it comes to the heart ruling the head, those brands we love hold the whip hand.
The Nike Stadiums serve as ‘creative salons’, where art, sports and customer community experiences sing together in harmony with the Nike brand voice. The first installation in the Bowery Stadium is called ‘Order and Progress’. Order and Progress is a celebration of Brazilian soccer through the eyes of the NYC creative community. Opening night featured the premier of a multi-media piece entitled ‘Everything is Practice’, a short film with Spike Lee directed by Jake Sumner and photography by Nabil Elderkin, as well as a piece by Brazilian born, NYC raised creative Allen Benedikt. With the ‘Stadium’ concept, Nike have created a community forum, rich in brand personality, and perfect for brand storytelling.
The basement serves as another creative salon but with a more functional purpose in mind, with a real locker room stacked along an entire wall. The space was created as a hub for New Yorkers involved in local sports programs. Serving as an inspiring meeting place, the traditional locker room is flipped on its head with an explosion of paints created by artist Jack Greer. Along the other wall are illustrations by Gianluigi Toccafondo titled ‘Heroes of Speed’.
At an all important functional level, the space will be the new home of the Bowery Stadium sports programs, including the NYC Bridge Runners, Goodtimes FC soccer league, NRF, and the WNW – don’t you just love those sports acronyms. At the heart of this Nike brand experience the emotional benefit intersects with the functional benefit, which is where the strongest emotional bonds are created.
Nike’s Bowery Stadium opens to the public Thursday to Sundays from 12 to 7pm, at 276 Bowery in Manhattan. Check it out if you’re in town – BYO gym gear.
If you look after brand spaces that could do with a good dose of emotional connection, get in touch – the conversation will be as valuable as it is enlightening.
We found-out about this on a cool little web site called High Snobiety.