By Nick Bendiak, VP of Retail Experiences
PUMA’s fresh lineup of NITRO shoes marks an important return to core running for the brand. PUMA innovations have always been designed to help athletes perform at their peak, and NITRO running shoes are no exception. Since NITRO’s launch, we’ve worked with the brand to highlight PUMA’s core running products — via unique in-store experiences and activations. But for this year’s Boston Marathon, PUMA decided to pull out all of the stops with a three-week PUMA running pop-up activation. As PUMA’s partner, we turned this idea into reality in just three weeks. We might be biased, but we feel the results are pretty compelling.
The RUN PUMA House was set up inside of a brick storefront on Boston’s iconic Newbury Street, near the finish of the Boston Marathon. We loved the location of the space, as it felt natural to the city and was in line with the storied history of the Boston Marathon.
The space was full of cool distance running design cues and artifacts, such as a ceiling covered in running bibs and a display containing shoes worn by PUMA athlete Molly Seidel when she won Olympic Bronze. Visitors could learn about PUMA products and technology firsthand and talk to onsite product experts. And for guests that wanted to dive deeper, wall-mounted tablets let guests explore and order products from the PUMA website.
But the RUN House wasn’t a retail space — it was designed as a place for the running community to come together. “A key component of our local running marketing strategy is to connect authentically with the running community through Run PUMA experiences and activations at key marathons and races throughout the year,” says Allison Giorgio, Vice President of Marketing at PUMA North America. The RUN PUMA House was evidence of PUMA’s plan at work.
The space contained a dedicated lounge area, where members of the Boston running community could hang out, encourage each other and watch live streams of RUN PUMA events around the city. In the two weeks leading up to the Marathon, PUMA hosted a series of events for the running community at the Run House. On the day of the marathon, the RUN House hosted a packed day-long party for thousands of local runners. (Seriously. Just look at that engaged crowd.)
Overall, the RUN PUMA House was an overwhelmingly successful brand activation, and we were extremely pleased to help PUMA reassert its position as a key player in core running at the Boston Marathon. See the video below for a more in-depth look at this activation.