Cricket legend Steve Waugh has teamed up with Fitness First and a bunch of other creative names to launch a campaign to raise awareness and dollars for rare diseases.
Havas Village partners, Red Agency and Havas Worldwide have produced an innovative digital experience to launch the inaugural Captain’s Ride – a 920km bicycle ride from Sydney to Byron Bay for children and young adults with rare diseases, with the campaign allowing people to join Waugh in virtual reality.
The ride will see more than 60 captains of industry take on the enormous six-day cycling challenge, covering approximately 150km a day across the spectacular NSW countryside, up through the Hunter Valley, Gloucester, Armidale, Dorrigo and Grafton, before arriving into Byron Bay on Friday 6 November.
To bring the Captain’s Ride to life, Red Agency and Havas have been working with Fitness First gyms to create an interactive 360 degree Virtual Reality (VR) experience running all of this week. The experience allows participants in every Spin Class at Fitness First Platinum gym in Bondi to have the chance to ‘Cycle with Steve’.
Using a simple Google Cardboard VR headset and an Android phone, participants can be immersed in Steve’s opening bike ride from Sydney. The experience is made possible using a GoPro 360 rig camera, mounted to the handlebars of a rider’s bike accompanying Steve and the other ‘Captains’ on their epic journey.
Former professional cricketer and Fox Sports commentator, Brendon Julian, took part in the first spin class.
“The VR headset is like nothing I’ve experienced,” he said. “It actually felt like I was riding right alongside Steve, very cool. I think it’s amazing what he’s doing to try and put rare diseases on the map for children across Australia and I hope everyone gets behind him to raise as much cash as possible.”
Fitness First participants can donate money to the Foundation as part of the experience and all members can donate via donation buckets at every club and via their website.
Havas Worldwide COO and MD of Red Agency James Wright said, “When Steve first approached us to support the ride, we knew we had to think of something truly innovative that has never been done before in Australia.
“For us, the key proposition was bringing this to life for everyday Australians. We wanted to do something that would connect them to the ride and make the experience of supporting children with rare diseases as personal as possible.”
“This is perfect blending of goodwill, cutting edge technology and a lot of hard work from a lot of people for a great cause,” Havas Worldwide executive creative director Tim Green added.
“This is an Aussie first, taking a live action experience and simultaneously taking it to a large crowd in virtual reality. When you think of the everyday reality of living with a rare disease, it’s the least we could do to help share these kids stories.”
Steve Waugh said it’s been a successful year for the Steve Waugh Foundation, and now it’s time to give back.
“The rare disease patient is the orphan of the health system, often without diagnosis, without treatment, without research and therefore without reason to hope. This is why the Steve Waugh Foundation exists. The Australian rare disease community is growing, with a leading number of medical and advocacy groups joining together to give those living with a rare disease a voice,” Waugh said.
“We want the public to get behind the Captain’s Ride and join the ride for themselves at www.captainsride.com.au and making a donation, or by following me on Instagram using #captainsride @swfaustralia and @stevewaugh.”