ADIDAS RUNTASTIC LAUNCHES RUN WILD, A DIGITAL RUNNING CHALLENGE WHERE USERS COMPETE WITH A WILD SNOW LEOPARD IN MONGOLIA
adidas Runtastic, Internet of Elephants, the Snow Leopard Trust and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have teamed up to activate millions of runners worldwide to take action for the world’s most endangered species.
Today, adidas Runtastic, one of the world’s leading companies in the digital health and fitness space, releases an exciting digital running challenge that lets its users connect with and race against a real wild snow leopard.
HOW IT WORKS
The Run Wild Snow Leopard campaign kicks off on October 23, International Snow Leopard Day, and will run for 12 days until November 3 2019. During this time, users of the free adidas Running app can track their runs and compete with Uuliin Ezen, a wild snow leopard from Mongolia. Uuliin, who is tracked using GPS technology for scientific purposes by the Snow Leopard Trust and its partners, will post his daily running statistics in the adidas Running in-app Challenges feature. Users are encouraged to push themselves to outrun Uuliin’s daily distance. Apart from daily updates on his athletic performance, daily activities and challenges in finding food and surviving poaching, Uuliin will also provide users with the opportunity to contribute to the conservation work that keeps him safe.
WHY IT MATTERS
People living in cities have fewer opportunities to interact with nature. This can negatively affect their physical and mental health. Finding innovative ways to create a meaningful connection between urban people and wild nature is, therefore, a great priority.
Through the use of real data and daily updates from Uuliin himself, Run Wild aims to create a positive and powerful connection between runners and endangered species, to grow their understanding of the complexity of conservation, and to harness support for the hard work it takes to keep animals like Uuliin safe.
With 150+ million registered users worldwide, the potential for utilizing a platform like adidas Runtastic for conservation purposes should not be underestimated.
A COLLABORATION FOR IMPACT
The Run Wild campaign is a collaboration between adidas Runtastic, Internet of Elephants, the Snow Leopard Trust and UNEP’s Wild for Life campaign. adidas Runtastic leverages its 150+ million registered users, platform and marketing power; Internet of Elephants co-creates the concept, provides engagement expertise and conservation-focused storytelling, and UNEP and the Snow Leopard Trust open up their campaigning muscle, research data and supply conservation expertise.
The Snow Leopard Trust has been conducting long-term ecological studies in Mongolia on snow leopards, including Uuliin, by collaring and following these endangered species and using GPS data to better understand their ecological environment and behavior in order to ensure their survival.
Internet of Elephants harvested this movement data to create exciting ways for people to get involved in the conservation of Uuliin and his fellow snow leopards. The daily updates, storytelling and engagement mechanisms translate Uuliin’s movement data and conservation facts into a personal relationship with a wild animal thousands of miles away.
adidas Runtastic integrates the data provided into the app and enables users to compare their daily runs with a real snow leopard. To ensure the safety of the animals, adidas Runtastic uses only historical movement data and does not disclose actual GPS locations of any animals.
Through Run Wild, Uuliin will help raise awareness of and support from millions of adidas Runtastic users for the snow leopard cause and the Snow Leopard Trust.
Founded in 2009, Runtastic has become a leader in the digital health and fitness space, providing optimized tracking solutions for collecting, managing, and analyzing running and training data, as well as curated content. Since 2015, the Austrian company has been part of the adidas family and continues to develop fitness apps to pursue the companies’ core belief: Through sport, we have the power to change lives. With personalized training plans and motivating features in the adidas Running and adidas Training by Runtastic apps, as well as educational content, Runtastic wants to create the best possible running and training experiences to encourage every individual to live a more aware and active lifestyle, leading to a longer and happier life. More than 280 million downloads and 150 million registered users speak for themselves. Additional information can be found at Runtastic.com or you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or on the adidas Runtastic blog.
About Internet of Elephants
Internet of Elephants is a one-of-a-kind creative company based in Nairobi, founded in 2017 by National Geographic Fellow Gautam Shah. IoE combines conservation science, technology and storytelling, to create fun and meaningful connections between humans and wildlife. With a mission to make animals like Uuliin the snow leopard, Chili the gibbon, and Mtweturia the elephant as famous as Beyoncé, Neymar, and Jon Snow, Internet of Elephants wants to change the way wildlife conservation is supported today.
Additional information can be found at www.internetofelephants.com or by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The UN Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world. UNEP, through its WildforLife campaign, works closely with various partners to prevent and reduce demand for illegally traded wildlife products and to reverse these trends in order to protect vulnerable species and the human well being that depends on healthy ecosystems. Another key driver of change as noted in the IPBES report is climate change. UNEP through its VanishingTreasures programme supports climate-smart wildlife conservation of endangered mountain species such as the iconic snow leopard in Central Asia, Royal Tiger in Bhutan and mountain gorilla in Virunga.
About Snow Leopard Trust
Founded in 1981, Snow Leopard Trust is the largest and oldest organization dedicated to conserving snow leopards and high mountain ecosystems of Asia. SLT is a global leader in snow leopard science and community-based conservation. Headquartered in Seattle, this international organization supports conservation efforts in all the 12 countries of Asia where endangered snow leopards occur. Additional information can be found at www.snowleopard.org and you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
I am very proud of this campaign and really excited that after the huge success of adidas Run for the Oceans we will create again positive impact to our planet through the power of digital. Based on our company’s mission that through sport, we have the power to change lives, we are trying to harness the immense power of our digital platform to create a positive change toward sustainability and to protect our planet and all its inhabitants.
Chris Thaller, adidas Runtastic Head of Creative Projects and initiator of the adidas Runtastic Run for the Oceans and Run Wild campaign
We urgently need to engage millions more people with wildlife and nature if we want to turn the tide of the extinction of wildlife, and in order to do that we have to be unconventional and daring. We believe the key is to connect people to the stories of individual wild animals, to make it fun, and do so on channels where people are already doing things they love. Our collaboration with adidas Runtastic enables us to bring all these engagement mechanisms together to build an army of urban conservationists. We’re incredibly excited that adidas Runtastic is opening up their platform of tens of millions of users for conservation purposes.
Gautam Shah, Internet of Elephants CEO and founder
Snow leopards are one of the most emblematic species of mountain regions. Yet their habitats are under unprecedented pressure due to climate change and related drivers such as land-use change and habitat degradation, shift, fragmentation or loss, as well as increased human-wildlife conflict and poaching. With this unique partnership, we hope to help to boost the general public’s interest in these as well as other vulnerable species.
Matthias Jurek, Programme Management Officer UNEP dealing with mountain ecosystems