Nike partnered with Spotify to create the "Pace Station," a mobile program that delivered customized music playlists to runners, featuring their favorite artists, and songs with the same beats-per-minute. This allowed runners to keep a steady pace more easily, and effectively reached their goals. Since its launch in the summer of 2015, the Pace Station has been used by millions of runners, and Nike has become one of the most popular brands on Spotify.
Objective and Context:
To give runners of all levels a fun and easy way to run faster and longer, Nike launched Nike+ Pace Stations in July 2015 as a central feature to its Nike+ Running iOS mobile app. The brand knew that music was key to running at a steady pace, but also that the wrong song could disrupt a runner's pace. The goal was to look at how music could be more than just entertainment during a run. Nike wanted to give consumers around the world the music they love in a way that effectively helped them reach their goals. With millions of runners worldwide using the Nike+ Running app, there was massive potential to help each runner run faster and farther.
Nike's target audience was every runner, from all walks of life.
We started by creating a prototype that seamlessly integrated Nike's mobile running app with Spotify's mobile app to access the streaming service's countless playlists. Then, Nike tapped into EchoNest music intelligence for access to more than a trillion data points about beats-per-minute (BPM), genre classifications, and artist labels for tens of millions of songs. The brand conducted interviews with countless runners to get their personal insights and to understand how mobile technology and specifically the media and music on their phone plays a role during a run, and how it could potentially be a deterrent as well. It also studied the science behind why people generally respond so strongly to the beat of a song and how BPM data is used to inspire people. This strategy formed the basis for how Nike gave runners a simple way to pick their favorite artist or genre, set their target pace, and go.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Nike launched the new feature, called "Pace Station," in July 2015 as a service to all Nike+ members with a Spotify premium account, and placed it front-and-center on the Nike+ Running iOS app. The new feature was a single touchpoint in the mobile app designed to be a key element of the overall user journey. Runners entered their target pace and music preference, and the app immediately delivered a 100-song playlist of their favorite music, all of the same beats-per-minute, in order to help them run their target pace. This was a first-of-its-kind instructive experience that guided runners to step in-beat to their prescribed songs and reach the goals they set for themselves.
The execution proved it was possible to unlock the power of music in a way that spoke to runners on a personal level, and that music could be more than just a cheerleader, and actually coach runners toward reaching their target pace. By leveraging personal music preferences and allowing each runner to set their target pace, the brand provided a quick and easy way for runners of all levels to instantly get curated playlists for motivation straight from their phones.
Pace Station gave a new dimension to the Nike+ Running App by enabling runners of all levels to experience a one-of-a-kind opportunity to tap into the world's largest music library of more than 30 million songs to create playlists that directly helped them run their target pace. The Nike+ Run Club account on Spotify has become one of the most followed brands on the platform, skyrocketing to nearly one million active followers to date.
Nike doesn't release specific quantitative results but Nike+ Pace Station launched to several million active users on the Nike+ Running iOS App in July 2015, and is used every day around the world by Nike+ runners with a Spotify premium account. Nike is now one of the most followed brands on Spotify, with more than 700,000 followers on just the Nike+ Run Club account, and Pace Station continues to help runners of all levels everywhere run their target pace and set new goals.