Nike’s social network runs the show online

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Cool stuff from Nike that runners might already know about: the company launched Nike+, which started as a technology play but evolved into a thriving social network. The technology involves a monitor in the sneaker that relays information to a device (usually an ipod nano), giving runners instant data to drive them.

The jump came when runners started seeing their stats online and challenging one another with their translated data. BusinessWeek calls out the network here, and sums it up nicely:

In the two years since it launched Nike+, a technology that tracks data of every run and connects runners around the world at a Web site, nikeplus.com, Nike has built a legion of fans. In August, for instance, 800,000 runners logged on and signed up to run a 10K race sponsored by Nike simultaneously in 25 cities, from Chicago to São Paulo. Now the company is testing a social network to promote its basketball shoes.

Very interesting to see the power of virtual communications at work…coordinating 800,000 people across the country is a monumental achievement.

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