Small Agency Awards 2012

Small Agency of the Year, Southwest, Gold: Rain

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Nike Fuelband's sweep at Cannes made one thing clear: Integrating fitness and technology with real life is a sure win, as long as it's done right. And while Nike may have snagged most of the headlines in that arena, Rain is holding its own over in American Fork, Utah.

App lets treadmill users run real routes.
App lets treadmill users run real routes.

Ad Age 's Gold winner for the Southwest Region has done exemplary work for Icon fitness, integrating an Android app with a treadmill so users could virtually "run" routes anywhere in the world, with real-time shifts in terrain.

"Where we are better than anybody else is being able to integrate legacy hardware with software," said CEO Andrew Howlett.

With $5.8 million revenue in 2011 and clients such as Icon, Skullcandy and Xlear, the 50-person agency has found that being out of Madison Avenue's way is actually a godsend. Utah's young population and the three universities near the agency's office mean the shop has a steady stream of digitally-savvy talent flowing in. There's also an entrepreneurial spirit in the state that has led the agency's employees to look at business problems in a unique way, because many have at some point owned their own business.

Most importantly, said Mr. Howlett, "people actually like living in Utah."

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