Why bother going outside when you can sit at home binge watching or doom scrolling? That’s the thinking behind this feel-good stunt from Outside Interactive, which honored everyday athletes with a reward made for champions.
Last month in Boulder, Co., the outdoor media company surprised cyclists along a busy bike path with a “Flash Finish,” a finish line decorated with yellow and black company banners and dotted with fans cheering their victory with signs in both French and Spanish.
The effort was part of the launch of Outside’s new brand platform, “Biking for All,” which coincided with the Tour de France last month and the historic female Tour de France Femmes race this year.
The event was captured in a minute-long video informing viewers about how much time people spend looking at a screen versus being outdoors — seven hours compared to six minutes. In the film, created in-house, the surprised cyclists reflected on the greeting they received, stating “That was so cool,” and “If this was every morning, I would ride every day.”
“It's no surprise people choose to stay inside on these platforms—there are zero rewards for going outdoors,” said Andrew Lincoln, VP of creative for Outside, in a statement. “Outside time is a reward-less and celebration-less act. We aim to change that with ‘Flash Finish.’ We’re giving people a much-deserved IRL celebration for getting outside. We hope more people will be motivated to get out there.”
The “Biking for All” brand platform’s online hub dedicated to cycling incorporates relevant articles, how-to guides, and biking trail destinations, on the Outside’s website.
Outside is parent to over 30 outdoor lifestyle media brands including Triathlete, Women’s Running, and Trailforks—a mountain bike trail database. It also plans to launch a generative collection of 10,000 NFTs in partnership with cycling artist James Arnold. It drops in early August on the company’s new NFT creator marketplace, Outside.io. It also includes a cycling challenge to inspire people to ride more on the Trailforks App and a contest with the chance to win prizes worth more than $5,000, like a new bike.
“Big tech, gaming, the metaverse, and social media companies are actively designing their experiences to keep people inside on screens,” added Dmitri Siegel, chief marketing officer for Outside. “Constant dopamine hits of likes, hearts, smiley faces, and views act as rewards and celebrations for digital accomplishments.”