Introducing Nathan VITAband: Interview with Matt Pierce

Introducing the Nathan VITAband™.  The only band offering ID & Cash on-the-go.  For an inside scoop on the Nathan VITAband we caught up with Matt Pierce, Penguin Brands Marketing & Communications Consultant.

What was the inspiration behind developing the NATHAN VITAband™?

“Athletes are at the core of everything we do: we strive to understand the needs of all of our athletes and provide the best in innovative and exciting products that meet these needs and enhance the performance, safety, and experience of every athlete. 

Delivering the Nathan VITAband—the first-to-market band offering access to medical information and cash via contactless payment – delivers on our commitment to enhance the experience and safety of athletes.  An interactive and customizable medical emergency band is not only a MUST for a responsible athlete, but also individuals on-the-go, those old in years but young in spirit, and those concerned about their active family.

Nathan encourages all athletes to train and compete safely and is relentlessly dedicated to educating on the principles of performance safety.”

Can you explain how to load cash onto the band and how it gets read?  Where can it be used?

“Funds are securely housed in a prepaid debit account. Funds can be loaded to the account via an existing Visa or MasterCard credit card. This can be managed securely and conveniently through the user’s online VITAband account.  The debit chip is read via an in-store contact-less payment reader.  Merchants with this offering can be located here.”

Can you explain how one would include their identification on the band?

“Each band has a unique PIN# associated with the consumer’s Emergency Response Profile (ERP), accessed through the Nathan VITAband website.  The user must fill out their ERP and, at a minimum, must enter their name and emergency contact information. However, additional information such as allergies, medications, and medical conditions are optional. This information is securely housed within a database.

Also, once a subscription is purchased a complementary ID chip is sent, within 10 days, to the consumer so they can place the ID chip in their band.  Emergency personnel, who will recognize the band as a medical ID band, will have access to the ID chip with printed emergency information and access to medical emergency and health records by dialing the phone number on the band and entering the consumer’s pin number.”

How would a medic or bystander know what to look for if in worst-case-scenarios?

“Medical personal are trained to search any injured individual for medical jewelry or a wallet card. The universal medical symbol (Caduceus) printed on the band is recognized by medical staff and is associated with medical identification.”

 What are some of the athlete friendly features outside of the safety and convenience?  How does it handle moisture and general wear-and-tear?

“The Nathan VITAband is a sleek, lightweight, and rugged design that withstands extreme conditions. The silicone band is waterproof and hypo-allergenic, and has been tested under the rigors daily athletic conditions. It would require several years of normal wear for the print to be influenced.”

Did you reach out to runners for feedback? If so, how did that influence your design?

“Yes. The Nathan VITAband was created by runners and represents versatility and innovation. Runners embrace lightweight and durable products when choosing training accessories. They also prefer a sleek, rugged design versus the traditional ID bracelet. The Nathan VITAband delivers on all fronts.”

What else can an athlete do to protect themselves while out on the road?

“Nathan understands the practical and aspirational needs of our athletes to succeed in the most demanding environments, and is committed to always delivering versatile, sensible, and reliable gear.  Nathan encourages the use of reflective gear when running in the evening or early morning (eg reflective vests, sleeves, and snap bands).  Nathan also encourages athletes to adequately hydrate which enhances performance and speeds recovery.”

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