adidasCreate Legend
Finish line films for every single runner at the Boston Marathon, made with RFID, a couple of cameras, and lots of code

Have you ever run a marathon? After 26.2 grueling what the &%$@ was I thinking? miles of pain and suffering, you cross the finish line, catch your breath, and post a sweaty selfie to commemorate the achievement. 

Expectation vs reality

When adidas asked us to connect with runners at the Boston Marathon, we saw this moment of underwhelming celebration as the perfect opportunity. What we gave them was delightfully surprising, perfectly timed, and worthy of the incredible accomplishment these runners had just achieved. 

Just minutes after they crossed the finish line, we delivered a personalized hype film from adidas Running to every one of the 30,000 runners who ran the marathon - rewarding them with a keepsake worthy of their epic accomplishment.

Stills from adidas athlete and women's overall champion Worknesh Degefa's race film

Using the RFID chips in their race-bibs as a mechanism to parse through hours of footage captured along the 26.2 mile course, we were able to identify the shots when each runner was in frame.

This is not at all how RFID works, but it looks quite cool and technical

That unique footage was combined with inspiring b-roll and data like the runner's name, nationality, and split times to customize the story. We even tailored the storyline of the film if they were a first timer, charity runner, or elite finisher. 

One of many capture stations along the race course
Using data from their entry type, history at the event, and race results, the whole story was tailored to each runner

Each film was dynamically rendered in the cloud and delivered to the email that the runner had signed up for the race with – a most unexpected and welcome surprise from adidas.

In addition to the digital activation, I also led a branding campaign and photoshoot for adidas' Boston Marathon gear.

Pro tip: Don't shoot outdoors in Boston in February

I led the entire project from pitch to race day, supported by an outstanding team who went above and beyond to pull it off.

Needless to say, we helped adidas win the race.