Today we're starting a short 3-part mini series, where we're going to have a look at a number of different ways of using the trusty bicycles as part of your next brand activation. When used correctly, this can make for a versatile, healthy and fun centerpiece that can be used at a variety of live in-person events.

Our first activation is the head-to-head virtual bike race. Up to 4 players jump on a bike and are challenged to pedal as fast as they can to reach the finish line. First across the line wins! The faster they cycle, the fast their character moves! Is it better to give it everything you’ve got, or sit back and slow-roll it?

This activation is ideal for well-being or activity based campaigns. It also works just as well in competitive environments such as sporting events or corporate get-togethers.

Best of all it’s cheap and re-usable and you’re not locked into complex vendor systems so you can bring it on the road for longer campaigns.

How does it work?

A number of regular road bikes are set up on stage, each sitting on exercise “rollers” which let players cycle in-place without moving. Each bike has a custom speedometer attached to it that can measure how fast the player is cycling. These speedometers are connected to a laptop that is running the game and connected to the big-screen.

The speedometers are the magic piece of the puzzle here. You can’t just use off-the-shelf speedometers as they need to communicate with the game. There are many ways to do it, but we’ve tried and tested them and have a custom-made device you can use off-the-shelf. If you're interested, why not reach out for a chat.

As each player cycles in real life, their character moves on screen. The faster they cycle the quicker they’ll move and the more likely they’ll win. You can also adjust the rollers on the bike to make it more challenging and tiring.

This is a really fun way to get customers peddling and cheering-on the competitors and makes for funny moments as people gas-out.

Where can you use it?

This is a wildly versatile activation that works in a number of environments:

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    Sporting events and stadiums are the most obvious place to run an activation like this, where friends are primed for competition and up for experiences and photo-ops.

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    Corporate or company events are another prime location for the head-to-head. Competitive colleagues will be happy to show off their secret cycling prowess.

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    In-store or on-street. More traditional environments like shopping centers can help build a buzz, with people gathering to cheer their friends on in front of a crowd.

What’s great is that there are loads of other twists and interpretations on this idea:

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    Tug of war. Create a tug-of-war mechanic and have players cycle against each other to win a tug-of-war on-screen game.

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    Team up. Introduce more bikes and more players to get a team-based race

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    Work together. Have player collaborate by cycling a distance together: every person contributes to an overall goal, for example: “cycle 1 million kilometers for charity”.

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    Record it. Add a video booth to the experience to create a funny branded clip that participants can download and share with friends if they win.

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We are your trusted technology partner on your next big activation campaign.

At Backstage, we work with experiential marketers & live event agencies to help them land bigger deals with bolder activations for bigger brands.

We work behind the scenes helping to generate ideas, deliver creative assets, and build the technology needed to make ideas a reality.

Great campaigns tend to begin with a great conversation. So if you’re tired of running ho hum activations, or you just need a spark for your next pitch, let's jump on a call and hash it out.