Two-time defending Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong knows all about the excitement, electricity and even danger involved in conquering the world’s most grueling cycling race. Thanks to a revolutionary new interactive documentary, produced by Nike and the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), television viewers in the U.S. will feel like they are riding along with the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team as they prepare for the 88th Tour de France in July. Scheduled to debut on Saturday, June 23 on CBS at 3 p.m. ET & OLN on June 28 at 10 p.m. ET, „Road to Paris“ is an exclusive „behind-the-scenes“ documentary created for Nike and OLN by Wieden+Kennedy and OLN, which will provide exclusive daily live domestic television coverage of the 2001 Tour de France, will air nine encore presentations of the program between June 28 and July 12. The hour-long „Road to Paris“ will give viewers a chance to see the inner workings of the USPS team as they train for the Tour and work together to win events.
But „Road to Paris“ is much more than a fascinating documentary on Armstrong and the USPS team. It’s also a communications experiment, an opportunity for Nike and participating advertisers to learn more about consumer behavior as it relates to the two-screen interactive experience. While the documentary is airing, it will be synchronized with a corresponding web site that will allow viewers to have a deeper, more interactive experience. The television documentary, enhanced by the web site www.roadtoparis.com, allows viewers to experience professional cycling from the inside out, through the eyes of the USPS team as recorded over a four-week, five-race period in April of this year. „Road to Paris“ will focus on these riders and their stories, as well as the innovation in equipment, training, and nutrition that have helped make them so successful. „Road to Paris“ also allows cycling and general sports enthusiasts to participate in a virtual community. „Our objective with ‚Road to Paris‘ is to provide both core cyclists and sports enthusiasts in general with a complete understanding of what it means to be a professional cyclist today,“ explained Joe Pollard, Nike global media director. „And in doing so, we hope to inspire the next generation of Armstrongs to get on a bike and ride. At the same time, we hope to gain a better understanding of how the consumer reacts to an interactive TV experience.“
In a few short years, Lance Armstrong, with USPS Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel, has propelled the USPS team from relative obscurity to a dominant force in professional cycling by winning back-to-back Tour de France titles. Yet most Americans have no idea how much dedication, commitment and personal sacrifice it takes to be a professional cyclist or how technically sophisticated and strategically complex professional cycling is today. Even an athlete as amazing as Armstrong could never win the Tour de France without a talented team aggressively supporting and protecting him.“Road to Paris“ will help viewers in the U.S. get a much more vivid and intimate look at the entire process of training, preparing and competing for cycling’s most coveted jersey.