It may be Asics’ last year as the official footwear and apparel partner of the TCS New York City Marathon, but the brand is still planning an aggressive marketing campaign for the race on Nov. 6.
Asics had been the sponsor for 25 years but is being replaced by New Balance beginning next year.
The primary campaign for this year centers around the Asics Extra Mile campaign, a multichannel initiative that includes digital, social, traditional advertising, outdoor and retail activations, live events and a special online page: asics.com/extramile.
The campaign encourages athletes to log onto the Runkeeper app and sign up for the Extra Mile Challenge and then complete a four-mile run rather than a three-mile run. For every challenge completed through Nov. 30, Asics will donate a pair of running shoes to Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting self-confidence and healthy lifestyles through running.
“The TCS New York City Marathon is a truly unique and global platform within the running community,” said Roeya Vaughan, Asics America’s vice president of marketing. “We are thrilled to tap into the excitement and global reach of the event, and create a movement that transcends New York City and inspires people to create positive change, something core to our Asics founding principle of sound mind, sound body.”
Asics will also bring the campaign to life on Friday, Nov. 4 in Columbus Circle in New York when it will install treadmill stations where participants can run or walk a mile. For each mile completed, Asics will donate a pair of shoes.
And on the Monday following the race, a ceremonial one-mile run will be staged in Central Park, starting at the official race finish line. It will include 25 runners the company believes “embody the spirit of the campaign,” including Gwen Jorgensen, the Rio 2016 Olympic Triathlon Gold Medalist in Rio and a first-time marathoner.
Asics will also place 26 smile markers throughout the city, each one sharing “fun facts” about the marathon and the culture of the city.
Asics will also donate a pair of shoes to the charity for every $100 spent on Asics product from Oct. 24-Nov. 7 within selection running stores in New York City.
For the race, Asics has also created a special collection of apparel, accessories and footwear with a passport theme. The brand has created a retro-style graphic that it will use on the footwear, that will carry through to the apparel as well. The print will be featured on the GEL-Kayano 23, GEL-Nimbus 18 and fuzeX footwear models.