Does anyone remember that Need for Speed: Heat is coming out this week? Seemingly trying to surprise everyone, EA Games hasn't done a whole lot of promotion for the latest installment in its long-running racing series. I guess since it's obviously time to get the word out, EA has teamed up with PUMA to commemorate the launch of Heat with a pair of branded shoes. Yeah, I don't see the relation.
Called the "Hi OCTN Sneaker," PUMA has adopted elements from Heat's aesthetic to create a sneaker that looks suitably neon. The shoes even sport Need for Speed branding on them, just to hammer home this is a cross-promotional product. A press release reveals that the inspiration for these shoes came from Heat's car customization feature.
Heat's creative director, Riley Cooper, stated, "Individual expression is at the heart of the Need for Speed franchise. We've always encouraged players to show off their style through their rides, so when we decided to add the same level of customization to our in-game characters, we knew we needed a partner that exuded personality. As one of the leading sports brands in the world and an expert in motorsport fashion, Puma is an ideal partner."
"Forever Faster is not just the motto of our brand," states PUMA's marketing manager Anja Egger. "It is also the attitude and passion of the partner we are aiming to collaborate with. What better way of highlighting this, than creating a product together with Need for Speed, which embodies passion for racing and drifting."
If weird real-life merchandise wasn't enough, the Hi OCTN's will be available in-game as a cosmetic item. Supposedly these shoes will offer some kind of advantage apart from being yet another multi-million-dollar marketing gimmick. If nothing else, it will let buyers coordinate their virtual avatars with their actual personas.
If you want to grab these shoes immediately, they are currently available from Shoe Palace for an undisclosed price. If you happen to not live near one of those stores, the Hi OCTN's will be available globally and through PUMA's website on November 15. There's no guarantee that you'll become a better racer while wearing them.