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Nike launches new app to create community for skaters

Nike recently launched a new mobile application called Nike SB that lets users participate in a global community of skaters by attempting challenges and uploading videos to the app.

In creating the app, Nike transformed the typically local sport of skateboarding into a global arena. The Nike SB Skate App is available for free in Apple?s App Store.

"The Skate app brings Nike Skateboarding directly to mobile phones, allowing users to engage with the brand on the go," said Li-at Karpel Gurwicz, marketing director at Conduit Mobile, Foster City, CA. 

"Given that Nike is a brand focused on active lifestyles, and with mobile devices exploding in popularity, creating an app is a great extension of that philosophy," she said. "The app makes it possible for Nike to reach the skateboarding community anytime, anywhere."

Ms. Gurwicz is not affiliated with Nike. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Nike declined to comment.

Skate away
Once a consumer downloads the app he or she can log in by linking to an existent Nike account or creating a new one.

After creating an account, users can learn tricks by watching videos of pros such as Sean Malto, Paul Rodriguez, Alex Olson, Brain Anderson, Cory Kennedy, Lance Mountain, Omar Salazar, Shane O?Neill, Stefan Janoski and Theotis Beasle. Then they can record themselves doing the tricks and upload ten-second videos to the app.

Consumers can also accept challenges to get featured in the app. When users complete challenges they get badges.

Just activating an account will earn a money cat badge for players. For completing a regular noseslide, fakie nosegrind, nollie f/s tailslide, crooks, and f/s boardslide, a user will earn a KnowLedge badge.

Players can share the badges on Facebook or Twitter.

The Trick Tree keeps track of the user?s skating history and lists the number of tricks he or she has completed.

Users can also play S.K.A.T.E. and compete against random skaters around the world. A consumer will watch another user?s trick video, vote whether or not he landed the trick and then record himself doing the same trick.

Game of S.K.A.T.E. connects skaters from around the world, creating a global, virtual community of skaters.

Mobile optimized
The Nike SB Skate App is packed into 40 megabites so that it does not take up too much space on a user?s phone. To maintain the small size the Nike SB App?s UGC video does not live natively on the app, but is dynamically uploaded and streamed from the app?s YouTube page.

It also leverages the iPhone?s accelerometer to enable multi-angle, multi-speed videos of Nike pros performing the tricks.

The app also has a ?Shop? button that directs a user to the mobile-optimized Nike store.

"Mobile is the fastest-growing industry in history and people turn to mobile devices to shop, consume content, discover new places, interact with each other, and manage their lives," Ms. Gurwicz said.

"The app gives fans of Nike Skateboarding the opportunity to connect from their phones with a more personal, user-friendly experience."
Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York