ASICS: Blackout Track

  • Harriet Watts
  • Kacper Chlebowicz
  • Harriet Muddiman
  • Zareen Siddiqui
  • Natalie Steiner
  • Sam Ashby
  • Frazer Howie
  • Sean Pruen
How do you launch a product and engage attendees in an environment routed in the idea of completely stripping away the bells and whistles? Central to everything was the starkness of the spotlight cast upon the track runner – translating across all physical and graphic design, utilising high contrast, monochromatic imagery at every touchpoint. 
Sean Pruen, Director, UNIT9
Led by UNIT9 director Sean Pruen, in collaboration with Edelman Deportivo and ASICS, we unveiled the world’s first running track to train the mind; a custom-built 150 metre course that is cloaked in darkness with no technology, no music, no scenery, no comforts and no finish line. Sixty custom made sound and light plinths and a blended spotlight system tracked the runner –  taking away all distractions.
The ASICS Blackout Track acts as the global platform for the launch of the Gel Kayano 25 range and brings together ASICS athletes and brand ambassadors from around the world to test it in the most extraordinary environment: in the dark. The overall project and track design has been in development for more than six months, to help assist with pace judgement and has been successfully used by Japanese marathon runners. It was developed in collaboration with sports scientists and top coaches to remove all distractions and encourage runners to truly focus on synchronising the mind and body.
User Experience: Guests entered the South East venue, Printworks, and were guided by light walls created with a combination of haze and high-powered spot light towards a product room with multi-faceted holographic meshes and low-poly animation sequences inspired by the KAYANO 25. Guided to the product room, they were scanned for and removed of all distractions with a giant X- ray screen and eventually ushered to the final warm-up area to prepare for the mental marathon they were about to embark on.
Other guests and media could watch runners from the viewing gallery, echoing the monochromatic aesthetic of darkness and clean light lines throughout the venue. This also boasted live stream and thermal camera feeds to continue the technical, sports science feel of the event.
UNIT9 Films duo Greg & Jacob directed a launch film on the eve of the event, with shots of the track and utilizing the motion graphics content created for the event. A longer edit was also shot for the legacy and behind the scene videos after the event.


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