Nike+ GPS shows new route for location-based apps

Targeting runners and athletes, Nike has launched its Nike+ GPS application on the iPhone and iPod touch, which could be indicative of what is to come for location-based applications.

Nike+ GPS motivates runners to push themselves. It also lets runners track their distance, time, speed and calories burned using the iPhone's accelerometer.

?What's exciting about the Nike app is that it is an excellent example of the potential for predictive location-based marketing,? said Jeff Becker, senior director of marketing at Apptera, Sunnyvale, CA. ?Marketers are keen on delivering messages to people where they are.?

Nike, based in Beaverton, OR, claims to be the world?s largest designer and retailer of sportswear and products.

Nike did not respond in time for press.

Map it out
Nike+ GPS works with runners in any location, regardless of a GPS signal. If one is available, it will map a route. If one is not, then the accelerometer function will only track pace, distance, time and calories burned.

When using the GPS function, users can map out a route, tapping it during the run to see their pace, distance ran and their location within the route. By using the ?Challenge Me? function, a runner can be pushed to run further, faster and longer than in a previous course.

Here is a screen grab of the application:

Celebrities and athletes will send messages when goals are met to further motivate the user.

By connecting to http://www.nikeplus.com, runners can join a community of over 3 million local and worldwide runners, post the results of their run to Facebook and Twitter and view the progress on their goals.

App influence 
Nike last year launched its Nike+ Sportsband, giving runners feedback on the performance of their run. It also gave consumers access to their Nike+ accounts directly from their mobile phones (see story).

The sportswear company also launched an application last year targeting active women, giving them access to a mobile personal training program via the iPhone (see story).

Apptera?s Mr. Becker believes that Nike can use its mobile applications to target more consumers and control their spending.

?What we see on our mobile marketing platform is that it is truly unique and exciting to be able to deliver offers based on where consumers will be in the future,? said Mr. Becker. ?In this way, marketers are giving consumers a new opportunity to consider offers before they're in the purchase environment.

?We can influence intent in ways that don't rely on pure impulse alone, which can be a moving target,? he said. ?The Nike app could provide that opportunity, as people are mapping their route in a run, for example, but I don't believe it's what they want from the app.? 

Nike responded to questions after press. Here is its feedback from Stefan Olander, vice president of Nike Digital Sport, Beaverton, OR:

What is Nike?s goal with this application?


What challenge is the application meant to address for consumers?


Final Take
Kaitlyn Bonneville, editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer, New York