adidas’ Chris Brewer Talks RunBase Initiative

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words & interview // Gregory Williams:

A multifaceted brand with its Trefoil imprint all over a wide range of sports, adidas is getting ready to tap into the heart of the running community with its new RunBase initiative. Set to debut in Boston later this month, RunBase will provide runners of all levels and pedigrees with an interactive and innovative place that they can all call home. With this year’s Boston Marathon just around the bend, we caught up with adidas’ Category Director for Running Specialty, Chris Brewer, to discuss the inspiration behind the initiative, what runners can expect and what this new interactive approach means to adidas.

Nice Kicks: What was the inspiration behind adidas RunBase?

Chris Brewer: It’s the first of its kind because it’s a partnership with the Boston Athletic Association which allows us to really amplify our partnership and do so with the help of local operator Marathon Sports. We wanted to figure out as a brand how to bring the BAA to the public in a better way. We’ve done it through this concept, which allows us to build a community of runners that are affiliated with, a part of, or aspire to be a runner in the Boston Marathon.

Nice Kicks: Seeing as how Boston has a rather rich marathon history, was it a no brainer to launch RunBase in Boston with the marathon just a few weeks away?

Chris Brewer: Boston has a great running community. If you’ve ever been to Boston then you know the community of runners is like no other especially with how they rallied with each other around what happened a couple years ago.

Nice Kicks: With this set to be the first of many RunBase locations, how does this initiative strengthen adidas’ ties to the running community?

Chris Brewer: The key element is that this concept has never been done before in the US. There’s a uniqueness to the partnership. When we talk about the community of runners, the RunBase concept is not just another running specialty store, but actually a community and hub for runners to utilize in their daily life. We are creating a completely new, innovative and interactive approach to what a running environment can be in a store-like situation.

That social and community aspect is something that running stores around the country have tried to do, some do it well and some don’t, but with the anchor being the BAA/Boston Marathon, that’s something that people want to be a part of. The draw that is the Boston Marathon is huge and we feel like with this partnership with adidas, we can bring the BAA story to life a little better and create a community that is long lasting. Once you become a part of that Boston Marathon experience, you’re a part of a fraternity/sorority/family that never goes away. For the first time ever, you’re going to be able to find yourself as a part of that through this RunBase concept. RunBase is all bout being an open community for runners to come and meet with like-minded other runners.

Nice Kicks: What can runners expect to get from the RunBase experience?

Chris Brewer: When you walk in to RunBase, you’ll see the BAA and Boston Marathon brought to life right before your eyes. You’ll see historical pieces prominently displayed throughout the store. With RunBase, you can learn all about the history of the Boston Marathon. There are so many stories that haven’t been told before, and RunBase allows us to do it. We are also going to bring the entire course to life. In the center of the store, we are going to have a topographical map as a center piece that will have projection screens projecting the different points along the course and the history of each of those points.

Also for the first time in a running specialty store, there’s going to be four large-screens connected that allow consumers to take an interactive journey of their choice through the history of the BAA. A runner could go up to this board and click through to find themselves and everything associated with each time they participated in the race. It’s a tool that is going to allow us to mine the data that the BAA has kept for years and digitize it to make it fun and interesting for the people to interact with. It’s going to be a way for people to really get to know the BAA along with the adidas brand and what we bring to the table.

Boston RunBase

Set to open its doors mid-April, the Boston RunBase location will be located at 855 Boylston Street and be open daily from 10AM (9AM during race weekend) to 8PM. Check out a couple of renderings of the location both above and below the jump, and be sure to head over to the Boston RunBase’s official site to sign up for updates.

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