Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank’s goal was to create the first chapter of their new retail theater concept and use it to launch the brand in China. HUSH worked with Under Armour Creative team, Tight Shirt Productions, and the Under Armour China team to create the experience to tap the most visceral of human senses and connect the Chinese audience intimately with the Under Armour brand. We helped potential Chinese customers see, hear, and feel the core values of Under Armour amidst China’s unique culture of athletics, training and organized sport.
Shanghai shoppers are transported into the vivid world of sports training in this one of a kind immersive retail experience. In order to take the Chinese market by storm, we designed the sensory-challenging space specifically to transcend cultural and language barriers, and to translate the Under Armour brand into pure sight, sound, and form. We employed a delicate blend of architecture, VFX, 10.1 surround sound, and a panoramic, live action film of Under Armour athletes in the midst of intense training sessions – including Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.
The retail experience combines a 270-degree panoramic film (shot with custom designed GoPro camera arrays), bespoke architectural and lighting design, projection mapped surfaces, various AV technologies, and 10.1 surround sound into an explosive, all-encompassing experience. Upon arrival, visitors see a highly angular, closed-off retail façade designed to contain the energy within – an enigma compared to the open glass facades of the surrounding stores. Visitors then enter a sensory decompression chamber, created with a tunnel of bright LED walls and directional sound – a bold contrast to the mall’s polished interiors. The lights cut off, revealing an image of Michael Phelps beckoning them further inside. As they pass into the cavernous 270-degree theater, they experience a six minute film distilling Under Armour’s essence into a raucous blend of cross-category sports training, UA athletes and VFX taking them from soccer pitch to basketball court, from Baltimore to China. Finally, they emerge in a custom-designed retail space – a gallery-like, minimalist shrine to a few core Under Armour products.
The Under Armour China Experience opened to the public in October 2012 as a six-month installation at the Jing An Kerry Centre in Shanghai, China. As part of Under Armour’s goal to expand into international markets, our retail experience allowed the Chinese consumer to identify with the Under Armour brand beyond the cultural differences of American and Chinese sport. The launch of the Shanghai store generated a buzz about the experimental retail space from press such as PSFK, Most Contagious 2014, and Cool Hunting.