Nike SPARQ

R/GAUSA

Connecting

Production

Team

Albert Patton, Beam Seilaudom, Chris Shimojima, Devin Heatley, Guy Helson, Jack Bishop, Jane Yang, Jimmy Mouton, Jon Jones, Lexi Steigelman, Mike Lee, Nick Parisi, Rasmus Wangelin, Robby Marshall, Ron Forester, Ryan Wang, Sammi Needham, Vincent Dibartolo, Will Creedle

Overview

Nike’s training program-SPARQ Combines-are the proving ground for elite high school football players, an event where the very best attract the interest of college scouts. Based on the core athletic criteria of Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, and Quickness, the SPARQ Combine event is where players are tested, analyzed, and ultimately for the elite few, awarded scholarships. But up until recently, the drill events were only about the numbers they could put up on a stopwatch. Nike asked us to bring SPARQ to the modern age. This year, through digital diagnostic tools, high school players now have a complete picture of their performance and a plan for improvement.

Context

At the highest level of American football, the NFL Combines are where pro prospects put their athleticism on display for those they hope to be drafted by. It’s the ultimate in digital analysis, where the most state-of-the-art technologies are used to break down players’ strengths and weaknesses. At the high school level, where players are hoping to catch the attention of college scouts, a similar system exists: SPARQ Combines. Players are tested in the five key areas of Nike’s training program: Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, and Quickness. But unlike the modernism of the NFL Combine, for years SPARQ Combines were all about the numbers players were able to put up on a stopwatchand that’s about as advanced as the technology got. That all changed this past year.

Impact

From SPARQ Combine events, to backyards across America, a customized performance-based app and jumbo-tron broadcasting, to do-it-yourself Facebook promotion, and even education that gaming integration can provide off the field, Nike Football has provided high school players with an indispensible tool kit, one that allows them to see where they stand, broadcast their results, and map out a plan for improvement.

Craft

First, players registered and set a goal for the Combine. When they arrived at the event, their profile and goal were waiting for them. As players completed the drills and received their SPARQ rating, they could see how the competition was faring on a jumbo-tron leader board.

A custom mobile app breaks down each players’ performance and probability of winning an athletic scholarship. Players could see how they compared to athletes in their class, position, and even against NFL players who recorded SPARQ ratings when they were in high school. Simple controls let them see what areas they needed to improve in, and how much improvement was needed to improve their SPARQ rating and likelihood of winning an athletic scholarship. They could then broadcast their numbers to the leaderboard or Facebook, directly from the app.

And players who couldn’t make the event, a do-it-yourself combine kit was built into BOOM, Nike’s free mobile training app: players could test themselves anywhere, post their results on Facebook, and give themselves a level of national exposure.

We even integrated SPARQ into EA Sports NCAA Football Twelve for Playstation 3where SPARQ ratings became key criteria for selecting players in the Team Builder feature.

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