Nationale Nederlanden (NN) has a longterm commitment to major running events. The focus in this ongoing relationship is on casual enthusiasts. My client Triple Double developed a number of projects to activate this partnership. I’ve had the opportunity to document several of these projects through photography and help produce one of the biggest projects, Running Stories.
My cooperation with NN started with a relatively small-scale activation called Juichmoment, which boils down to a moment of cheer in English. After running events, participants get the chance to get a photo taken with their final time. A dedicated photography team shot these photos, my focus was on capturing the essence of the project.
Expert skills this project called for:
capturing authentic moments, ensuring brand visibility, leading a team of creatives, logistics planning, fast on-site delivery
Next up, Triple Double developed an incredibly strong concept that was a pure joy to capture. In the weeks leading up to marathons, friends and family of participants-to-be are called upon to submit a video. In this video, friends and family cheer on the participant, encouraging them onwards.
At 35 kilometers into the marathon, huge video screens are set up. When runners cross a sensor that reads the chip in their bib number, playback of their video is triggered. At this point into a marathon, many runners experience their toughest moments. Seeing a video of their loved ones play as a complete surprise elicits some very real emotions. My job was to find the person whose video was playing, and capture these emotions.
Working with Bram, we’ve really appreciated his speed and flexibility, but most of all the quality of his work. He has this ability to capture people at just the right moment, showing their emotion, energy and personality.
The range of emotions people experience when seeing their loved ones on the screen was amazing. Some people cried, others burst out laughing, and some were just flabbergasted and stopped in the middle of the street to watch.
Another project in NN’s ongoing commitment to running, is the NN Pacing Team. Pacers are experienced runners who allow other participants to follow their lead. By running at their steady pace, participants can try to make their target time.
I was tasked with following these pacers before a race. As in all my work, I tried to show their personality and capture some genuine moments. It was interesting to learn that their personal challenge is always to get as close to their target time as possible. In some cases pacers only miss out by their exact time by mere seconds!
The biggest and most recent project I worked on with Triple Double for Nationale Nederlanden is Running Stories. A special medal was developed, with an embedded chip that can be scanned with a phone. This opens the Smart Medal app. In this app, runners can view their athletic accomplishments and relive past races. My part in this project was allowing runners to relive their races, shortly after they finished, through Running Stories.
Running Stories are a bit like Instagram Stories, catered specifically to one running event. By shooting content at several locations in a race, we let runners relive their race through photos and short videos. Some of these are shot by static photographers and then matched with the runner’s bib number. The majority of content are general photos though, capturing the atmosphere of the event.
I am involved in both pre-production and actual execution of this project. A few weeks before the event, myself and a Triple Double employee visit the marathon parcours and scout several locations. We try to find good angles for photos and also think about accessibility.
Next, I draft a logistical plan for content production. This involves bringing in carefully selected additional photographers and an editor. I make a schedule detailing which photographer shoots which photos, at which location, at what time. The schedule also reflects time needed for relocating and at when the editor receives which photos. Time is of the essence, and having this plan helps meet the strict deadline for this project every single time.
What’s challenging about shooting these photos, is that things always go differently than planned. I feel that what makes my team great on these days is that it’s able to improvise and always deliver. Even if that means riding a bike down hills carrying a ladder.