New Balance launched a series of events in 50 specialty running stores this week to highlight a video experience that helps launch the new 880v4 athletic running shoe. Rather than using video to drive e-commerce sales, the events are meant to lure foot traffic because the 880v4 is only available at certain brick-and-mortar retailers. Some of the retailers include Marathon Sports in Boston, Fit Right Northwest in Portland, Ore., and Runner’s Edge in Farmingdale, N.Y.
At 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, shoppers were able to watch a live Q&A video powered by Brandlive promoting the new shoe. During the live broadcast, two New Balance executives addressed questions and other related topics on the brand and the shoe’s selling points.
“We have not done anything like this in the past, and we’re trying to offer better content from the product team,” said Tom Taylor, run specialty channel support lead at New Balance.
Store employees were sent a link to New Balance’s microsite so that they can set up their own events, and 100 to 150 New Balance field reps went through training earlier this week so that they can field questions from shoppers.
According to Taylor, most of the retailers participating have flatscreens and Internet access to stream the video broadcast. The parties also included props and photographers to elevate the in-store experience.
New Balance promoted the event on its website and via Facebook and Twitter, but the bulk of promotion leading up to the event was done by the retailers’ email and social media efforts.