The new PUMA flagship store on 5th Avenue
GREEN ROOM DESIGN
Ever wondered what it would be like to train with one of your sporting heroes? Maybe Lewis Hamilton or Antoine Griezmann or Romelu Lukaku? Well, the opportunity to do just that has become a (virtual) reality, thanks to Puma's new flagship store which opened its doors on New York's Fifth Avenue, earlier this week.
Because this store takes immersive and puts it on steroids by providing the ability for one of their global ambassadors to become your very own virtual training buddy.
Designed and developed by U.K.-based design studio Green Room Design the platform, known as "idols brought to earth" is intended to make our sporting heroes that much more accessible while at the same time grabbing the attention of Puma's target audience—Generation Z.
Using something described as a "Skill Cube," once inside, the visitor is immersed in a multi-sensory environment which includes LCD screens, projections, motion sensors and even, in the case of the footballers, synthetic turf.
For an experience with five times Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, you are transported to a virtual warehouse where you can share some fitness moves with the great man.
Known as the Training Experience, it pits you against Lewis who will take you through three drills; ladder, jab and jump. After which you can test your new found speed on a Formula 1 style simulator.
Fancy some fitness training with Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton?
GREEN ROOM DESIGN
Our vision for the Skill Cube was to create a truly unique experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world
Jason Isenberg, global head of commercial marketing, Puma
If it's football you're after, you can be transported to the San Siro Stadium for the Teamsport Experience, reconstructed in a world so life-like, it even contains five million individual blades of grass. Virtually of course.
Not only that but you'll be in front of a capacity crowd of 80 million, all moving individually, such is the level of detail.
Training in front of 80,000 fans at the San Siro stadium
GREEN ROOM DESIGN
Jason Isenberg, global head of commercial marketing at Puma, said, "For us it was critical that the space go beyond just selling product, to provide something both compelling and immersive. Going forward we have big plans for the Skill Cube which include taking the concept, creating different variations, adding new ambassadors and expanding it to other regions."
Martyn Palmer, digital experience director at Green Room Design: "With Puma’s Skill Cube we have been able to take interaction in a contained space to a whole new level. The product we’ve created is fully responsive to human behavior and actively leads the participant through the experience by signposting actions, generated through sensory triggers".
Merging the physical and the digital worlds in one seamless experience is, of course, retail nirvana, but the trick is to retain an ongoing engagement from the fans.
Martyn continued: "Combining content, projection, depth sensors and bespoke software, we’ve worked to remove as many barriers to entry as possible and create an effortless and truly immersive experience. What’s more, by bringing together the physical and digital we’ve created an environment which not only is high engaging for users but demonstrates the real benefits of Puma’s products."
And just to make it a little competitive, in both experiences, the data captured is put on a digital leader-board. And of course, social media is also included; everyone who takes part receives a personalised message to share away via their favourite social channels.
What makes this project particularly exciting is that with the current technology stack we’ll be able to take learnings from user behaviour to continuously build on and evolve the experience for years to come
Martyn Palmer, digital experience director, Green Room Design
So, next time you're walking down fifth Avenue and feel in need of an idol to train with, why not stop by the new Puma store? You can be sure that Lewis, Antoine and Romelu will be there waiting for you.