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Nike Runs Wild with In-Store Activations for 3 Major Marathons

Nike approached Bridgewater to create bespoke in-store experiences for marathons taking place in Chicago, Miami, and Boston. The goal was to generate buzz for Nike Running while promoting signature colorways for each event by launching new interior displays a few weeks before each race.

The Challenge

Our biggest hurdle with this particular Nike project was on the creative side – distilling the client’s global design concept into unique experiences that fit the ethos of each store, each marathon, and each city. On top of that, different tiers of Nike stores within the same city would require a different approach to materiality and overall aesthetic. On the production side, overnight installation in 2-3 stores at a time required flawless logistical planning.



Our first step was to conduct thorough site surveys – taking dimensions and assessing ceiling conditions, floor slopes, existing infrastructure, pedestal conditions, and power availability. Then we communicated with store managers to understand any nuances about the location, traffic, and other site or team-specific conditions that could pose challenges. These visits also provided insight into each location's personality, style, and ethos, informing our design direction.

Early concept image


While Nike provided the global direction for each marathon campaign, our task was to tailor the broader picture to fit each store – physically and aesthetically. In this design-assist role, we developed custom merchandising displays and platforms based on Nike’s distinctive running shoe sole designs. We also emulated the look and feel of the fabrics and materials in our graphics and substrate choices to craft a cohesive story throughout each space. Finally, we considered the customer journey through every store, leveraging each zone to capture attention and keep guests engaged.

Rendering image


The production of each in-store activation involved nearly every department at Bridgewater. Extensive CNC carving, specialized direct-to-surface printing on multiple materials, lighting integration, and laser engraving were all used to create retail environments that transform each Nike store from a shopping destination into a one-of-a-kind experience for runners. 

Fabrication image

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