Manicures and massages are the typical fare at press previews in New York, but New Balance threw that recipe on its head last week, instead inviting editors to “Tone, Flow, Fight, Grind, and Bounce” their way through the brand's fall 2011 preview. Held at the gallery in Metropolitan Pavilion, the event introduced editors to New Balance's upcoming collection, while simultaneously giving them a workout courtesy of Crunch Fitness trainers.
“For this season’s preview, we wanted to create an event that allowed people to really experience our fall 2011 collection of technical footwear and apparel,” said Kristen Sullivan, global PR manager at New Balance. “The line was designed for the performance and everyday athlete, so we wanted to ensure that we created an event that would showcase the technical benefits of the collection, while also offering a unique and memorable experience.”
Editors had their pick of five time slots—between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.—and, upon arriving, found personal lockers (thanks to chalkboard nameplates) stocked with sneakers, socks, pants, tanks, sports bras, and jackets. (Guests R.S.V.P.'d with their shoe and clothing sizes.) “We provided each editor with head-to-toe New Balance gear, to give them the full experience,” Sullivan said. “We were determined to get our guests into the apparel and footwear to really show how it is beneficial to various workouts.”
Sullivan tapped MKG to break the venue into five colorful workout stations, comprised of gym-centric gear like trampolines, balance beams, weights, jump ropes, and even a giant tire. Scharff Weissberg developed a lighting system that signaled when each two-minute, 30-second session was about to end (blinking lights) and when it was over (red lights). The editors cycled through the five stations twice, before scoping out the racks of clothing and sneaker displays and chatting with New Balance staffers about product details.
Healthy-minded catering included smoothies, light sandwiches and wraps, fresh fruit, and a make-your-own trail mix bar.