“Where to skate?” is currently a frequently asked question in the Netherlands. It’s winter and lots of people can’t wait to use their skates again, looking for lakes and canals that are frozen and nice routes to skate. Ice skating is one of the biggest sports in Holland, especially when there’s ‘natural ice’. It’s freezing cold at the moment, which means ice skating madness. And good times for the marketing of winter-related products.
A typical Dutch winter brand is Unox, a Unilever-owned company famous for their canned soups (like pea soup) and smoked sausages (‘rookworst’). Unox recently came up with their very own winter alternative to the Nike+ Running app. The brand’s ice skating application called Schaatapp (‘skate app’) shows where ice skating is possible in nature areas in the Netherlands.
The app tracks the routes the users have skated and shares these on a map. The collection of ice skating routes forms an interesting library of good and ‘safe’ skating routes throughout the Netherlands. The app has become a very up-to-date and temporary source for other people who are looking for good places to skate. Unox, however, does not take any responsibility for the ice quality.
Besides the exploration functionality, the application also focuses on the game and competition element. It tracks your speed, distance and other performances and shares these on Facebook or Twitter. Unox is a Dutch winter brand that traditionally uses ice skating as a marketing tool in all kinds of ways, varying from giving away typical orange Unox skating hats, to installing artificial skating courses on central squares of Dutch towns and villages.