Nike van to make pit stop at PWG

If you want to find out what happens when, as Nike puts it, “the leading name in sports and the leading name in digital music team up to take on your workout,” be sure to check out Payne Whitney Gymnasium today.

A Nike tour van will roll up to PWG today from 3:00-5:00 p.m., stocked with Nike+ shoes, colored iPod nanos, Nike+iPod Sport Kits, iMacs and other merchandise. While the products will not be for sale, students will have the opportunity to learn about Nike+iPod products and take them for a test run. The logistics of who will be able to test what apparel will be determined by the size of the crowd on Friday.

Nike calls its Nike+Apple Sport Kit the ultimate synthesis of sport and music because it allows runners to synchronize the intensity of their workouts with the tunes coming into their ears. The shoes feature a built-in pocket under the insole specially engineered for the Nike+iPod sensor so that as the runner’s speed changes, a custom playlist changes accordingly. The goal is for the intensity of the runner’s music to match the intensity of the run itself. The sensors will also provide runners with statistics on mileage and calories burned.

Director of Sports Publicity Steve Conn said he initially heard about the event from Yale’s Office of Public Affairs. When Conn ran the idea by the rest of the Athletics Department, he said, administrators all agreed the idea sounded fun.

Conn also said Yale is excited to host the event because of its budding relationship with the companies. The Yale administration has teamed up with Apple to provide netcasts — more commonly referred to as podcasts — of lectures, speeches and Yale sporting events.

“The Yale-Apple/Nike connection is growing, especially with Stephanie Schwartz’s netcast initiative for Yale,” Conn said.

Albert Lawrence ’07, the Apple Campus Representative at Yale, has worked closely with Payne Whitney Gymnasium Director Edward Mockus to coordinate the event. Lawrence said he is excited that students will be able to test drive the new shoes.

“Yale just wants this Friday to be a fun event,” he said.

As the liaison between Apple and Yale, Lawrence has coordinated several events to promote Apple on campus, including a booth at last year’s Spring Fling. Lawrence said he hopes the upcoming event will attract athletes who are frequenting the gym for Friday workouts.

Student athletes expressed interest in the Nike+ Apple initiative, particularly in light of its pit stop at Yale.

“I think it’s awesome,” lightweight rower Phil Lang ’09 said. “Yale does not usually get the major promotional things that other schools get.”

The visit is part of Nike’s initiative to market its products to young people, and the stop at Yale is part of a tour of colleges around the country.

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