CARBO LOADING: Giving new meaning to activation, New Balance is launching the NB Pizza Co. as part of its marketing run in advance of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon.
The $4 billion Boston-based company is in its third year as the official footwear and apparel sponsor for the New York Road Runners, which includes the Nov. 3 marathon. Earlier this year, the sneaker giant took a similar track before the Virgin Money London Marathon with a pop-up pub. At the Runaway Pub across the pond, marathoners could cash in air miles for pints of ale, starting in February. That gave them plenty of time to hydrate with hops before the April 28 race.
Playing off New York City’s popularity for classic pizza slices, New Balance will open a pop-up pizzeria in Murray Hill starting with a private launch event on Oct. 9. The NB Pizza Co. is coming to life at 47 East 34th Street through a partnership with L’industrie Pizzeria of Williamsburg. While the fresh-out-of-the-oven slices will be sold, the New Balance apparel and footwear on display will not be up- for grabs. The New York City pop-up will be the departure site for four consecutive Friday night Happy Hour runs starting on Oct. 11, as well as Saturday morning long runs during that same monthlong time frame. There will also be four consecutive Sunday events during that same four-week stretch. In addition, New Balance will be cooking up other activities around the pop-up. The sneaker giant should have a large pool of marathoners to reel in, considering that 52,704 runners went the distance at last year’s TCS New York City Marathon.
New Balance has also been making tracks with the fashion crowd. During the Kith Air show earlier this month at Cipriani, Ronnie Fieg previewed an assortment of seasonal drops including tracksuits and shoe collaborations. Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard continues to help boost the brand’s sales with a limited release of his signature shoe in the U.S. and China.