Nike: Nike+ Running on Samsung Gear S

Campaign Summary

Runners have adapted to running with their phones, as they can provide both music and apps that track biometrics during the run. However, running with a smartphone is cumbersome, and far from ideal. Nike partnered with Samsung to create a new experience that took the best aspects of its Nike+ Running app and recreated them for wearable devices.


Objective and Context:

Nike continues to explore new technologies in product design and digital experiences for today’s athlete. The goal is to create something that can live up to the expectations of the most elite athletes while supporting and empowering those who are just trying to get better. For this campaign, Nike sought to develop a running experience that took the best elements of the brand’s existing app and streamlined each feature.

Target Audience:

Nike’s target audience is the “connected runner,” which comprises athletes of all levels of intensity who want accurate biometric data available at a glance.

Creative Strategy:

Nike’s objective was to introduce a new level of athletic innovation by creating a best-in-class running app that didn’t need to be connected to any other device. Although running with a phone has become commonplace, it is not the ideal way to run. It’s cumbersome, and it distracts from the beauty of the run. Nike’s first fully-functional, standalone, wearable run-tracking app was designed for athletes, serving up all the information they need at a glance. The result was an elegant, streamlined app that allows runners to free themselves from the burden of carrying a phone every time they hit the road.


Overall Campaign Execution:

It was vital to take what runners loved about Nike+ Running and create an entirely new experience designed for a wrist-based device. The brand worked with runners and coaches to identify their favorite features of the mobile app, along with any pain points within the experience. Nike used the feedback to streamline the key features runners needed and balance them with the functionality of a standalone, wearable device.

Mobile Execution:

The app was pre-installed on the Samsung Gear S smartwatch to expand the reach of Nike+ Running to all who purchased the wearable device. In addition, the Nike+ Running app kept runners inspired and connected to their community by leveraging the smartwatch’s 3G connection to deliver real-time cheers from select social channels.

While traditional media channels were used to create buzz around the launch, pre-loading the Nike+ Running app on every Samsung Gear S device was key to expanding the product’s reach. Not only did this create awareness for a new audience, it also encouraged existing Nike+ runners to purchase the watch and try out the updated experience. In addition, preloading the app on every Samsung Gear S further demonstrated that the experience was built specifically for a wearable device, and offered all the tools that a runner needed without requiring the use of a phone.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)


The goal of this project was to redesign Nike+ Running as a standalone wearable experience that didn’t require a phone. Throughout the process, it was important to keep in mind that this wasn’t simply about fitting the Nike+ Running experience onto a smaller screen; it was about highlighting the features runners loved about Nike+ Running and designing an elegant, intuitive experience that brought these key features to the forefront.


For both elite and recreational runners, the Nike+ Running app on the Samsung Gear S delivered a streamlined, intuitive experience that gave users the ability to track and share their activity without running with a phone.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: The Internet of Things | Awards: Finalist

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