Runners: On your mark, get set, GO! New Balance is holding a virtual relay race in New York City. From August 11 to September 10, runners will be racing around the city trying to be the first person to scoop up a baton.
To play, participants need to download the Urban Dash app for their iPhones. The game map view shows locations of the hidden batons around the city, as well as other players to watch out for. Runners then need to run to specified locations, and once they are within 100 feet of the baton’s location, they will be able to “grab” the baton. After that, they must get to the New Balance store as fast as they can to validate it.
Runners also need to look out for other participants in the race, because if someone gets within 100 feet of them while they are in “possession” of a baton, the other player can snatch it. On the bright side, if they can keep up, they have the chance to snatch it back. Players can also use this game feature to work in teams and hand off the baton, like in an old-school relay race.
For the first baton they redeem, runners get a free pair of NB NYC 574’s. For additional batons, runners can get gift cards. At the end of the contest, the runner that collected the most batons will get a 14K gold baton valued at $20,000. Twenty batons will be released every weekday, with 30 on weekends.
New Balance may run into some problems with people trying to circumvent the rules, as pointed out in this article. People may wait by the store waiting for users with batons to get close enough. I wonder if people are really going to run to the locations and the store, or if they will just take the subway or a taxi.
What do you think about the idea of a virtual relay race? What about location-based games in general?