Outdoor lifestyle brand Merrell may not be a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild, but it’s slated to take part in the upcoming Sundance (Jan. 22 to 25) and Slamdance film festivals (Jan. 23 to 29) as part of a multifaceted partnership with Rolling Stone magazine.
The Rockford, Mich.-based company, is set to sponsor The Merrell TrailScape, an interactive virtual reality experience at Park City, Utah, that is designed by Oscar award-winning Framestore.
The 4-D walk-around, which participants can experience by wearing an Oculus Rift headset, transports visitors to a base camp high in the mountains where they scramble along treacherous rock ledges and navigate a wooden suspension bridge between peaks. Those who can’t make it to the event can follow the experience on @merrelloutside #Trailscape.com.
In tandem with its participation at Sundance, Merrell will debut its most technical hiking boot to date, the Capra. According to the company, the boot was inspired by the Capra mountain goat, known to scramble through trails and mountainsides.
“Merrell’s TrailScape during Sundance celebrates an exciting new era for our brand,” said Gene McCarthy, president of Merrell, in a company statement. “We are collaborating with Rolling Stone to bring the consumer a breathtaking experience that will inspire them to connect with the awe of the outdoors.”
As part of the media partnership, Merrell will also host an Interview Studio where legendary film reviewer Peter Travers will conduct interviews with key filmmakers, tastemakers and festival talent. The two will also present a concert Sunday night, Jan. 25, with a noted recording artist (still to be determined).
Along with the Oculus Rift experience, the Merrell space will feature festival hospitality, a gifting studio, junket event space and a celebrity portrait studio. Guests will also be able to test Merrell’s key products.
The events kick off the first of other planned Merrell TrailScape experiences.