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Nike To Launch New Shoes with 3D Game

In an effort to build brand awareness and loyalty through interactive entertainment, Nike on Friday unveiled a 3D branded Shockwave game called "Mindsprint," aimed at calling attention to the launch of its new line of shoes -- Presto.

The game, created by Zendo Studios, lets users mix audio and video while navigating through a 3D tunnel. As part of its marketing effort, Nike has distributed the application to several Generation-Y-oriented sites. The idea is to cultivate a hip cutting-edge image, while building brand loyalty through interaction with the game.

Nike has been experimenting, as of late, with innovations in online marketing. The shoe company ran a series of television commercials that invited viewers to hop online and vote on an ending. Nike also tapped Critical Mass to help it with personalization efforts on its Web site.

"We believe a profound cultural shift is happening in communication and entertainment. We are moving from the passive, traditional marketing model of television to the interactive, entertainment marketing of the Internet," said Kirk Gibbons, chief executive officer and creative director of Zendo Studios.

"Teenagers and 'the Playstation generation' are at the leading edge of this shift, and Mindsprint speaks in this new language."

The Mindsprint application is also meant to be complementary to the product itself, so users learn about the product while they are interacting with the game. In an unusual step, Nike has made the Air Presto line of shoes in sizes like XXS, XS, S, M, L and XL, rather than the traditional sizing scheme. Mindsprint offers the users different size experiences (labeled as XXS to XL) based on their connection speed. Also, as the Air Presto comes in 13 different colors, Mindsprint lets users select from 13 different paths and music experiences.