Going to Space Camp with Tom Sachs and NikeCraft

Only Tom Sachs would make shoppers go through a ten part obstacle course in order to buy the latest pair of his NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 sneakers. Setting up (space) camp on Governors Island in New York, Sachs’s intention was clear from the beginning: only true fans would make the exhaustive journey by subway, boat and cart – and of course, an exercise obstacle course – to experience the collaboration in all its glory.

The initial stage of camp, after suiting up in space-inspired workout gear, was viewing The Hero’s Journey – a 40 minute film by Sachs’s and his longtime collaboration Van Neistat. The fictional movie set the notion in motion with a story centred around a girl working a sad, corporate job who is fulfilled by the challenge of getting an internship – and ultimately a studio master position – at Sachs’s studio. The film pays homage to the absurd dedication it takes to truly immerse yourself in “good work.”

With Nike Master Trainers posted at each stage of the obstacle course, guests were led on art-inspired tasks that had a manageable workout component – think jumping across lava rocks on Mars to sliding over parked pickup trucks. After completion, visitors were able to keep their new Tom Sachs x Nike space uniform, with the option of purchasing the limited sneakers (one per person, naturally) for $200.

The brand activation was so well executed that it almost felt completely unbranded. The attention to detail (it is Tom Sachs after all) and thoughtfulness behind the event wiped away any overstated corporate association, leaving visitors solely inspired and motivated to drop the steep price for sneakers well worth the investment.

If you can’t make it to the island for a piece of the action, watch the film here or wait for the release of the NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 sneakers later this month.

Photos by @dotmophoto

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