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Celebrating Community: Nike Takes Contest Submissions for a Ride

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Nike, BIKETOWN, and Submittable

Portland’s BIKETOWN is a bike-share program that partners with Nike to facilitate convenient, inexpensive, and eco-friendly travel throughout the city. Nike and BIKETOWN recently completed their first Community Design Challenge, using Submittable to solicit illustrations from local artists and host a public-voting contest to determine future bike wrap designs.

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Submittable's understanding about competitions and challenges was really helpful—it took certain work off of our plate so we could focus on other aspects of the Challenge.

Karol Collymore

Nike Senior Manager for Community Impact in Oregon

Focusing on Community

Founded in 2016, BIKETOWN offers 1,000 bikes at over 100 hubs across Portland. In partnership with Nike, Thrive, Motivate, and others, BIKETOWN developed a plan in early 2018 to introduce new bike designs to its fleet.

“We were looking for a way to celebrate Portland’s creative culture, community spirit, and unique neighborhoods,” says Karol Collymore, Nike Senior Manager for Community Impact in Oregon.

The resulting challenge, overseen by Nike’s Community Impact team in Oregon, invited local artists to submit designs representing distinct city quadrants, with five winning designs to be featured on 10 special edition BIKETOWN bicycles a piece.

Running a Challenge From Start to Finish

Not only did the Community Challenge team need to reach quality artists and designers with a streamlined application process, they also wanted community members to directly participate in the competition through public voting on finalist’s designs.

Based on research and a local arts organization’s recommendation, Nike selected Submittable to help strategize and facilitate the contest. The team then worked with Submittable’s sales and marketing services departments to coordinate outreach, build a customized application, review submissions and display the work of finalists in an online gallery.

“For us, it was really about working with a knowledgeable platform,” Karol says. “We appreciated that Submittable’s crew was receptive and welcoming."

Winning artist Marguerite Schumm poses with her bike wrap design

Winning artist Marguerite Schumm poses with her bike wrap design

Encouraging Talent and Character

Five BIKETOWN Community Design Challenge winners were announced in May of 2018 and winning bikes were added to the fleet each month through August.

Marguerite Schumm’s design for Southeast Portland was the first to be released; it’s called ‘Explorin’ Southeast’ and brings to mind a map of exciting landmarks, set on pistachio green with lots of pink. Marguerite says she wanted her bike to appear “hand-drawn and a little edgy, just like Portland.”

She adds that “It’s been really nice to be part of such a communal thing that people are engaged with. So fun and rewarding!”

It’s exciting for her to see her bike in the streets and the opportunity has already proved beneficial. “Winning this challenge helped me get the job I have now,” Marguerite says. “I’m also a freelance designer so this will be an asset to my portfolio.”

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