Posts Tagged 'ING New York City Marathon branding'

I am not a billboard or walking advertisement

Well, maybe I am.  Thank you Continental Airlines for giving out these lovely wrappers to everyone as we cross the finish line.

Me, as a walking advertisement for Continental

Of special note for all you techies out there.  The orange tag on my running shoe is an RFID tag.  It makes it possible to track each runner along the course.  The results were posted real time so that you can follow your friends and family along the way.  Very cool.

Thank you ING, Asics and Poland Spring!

The marathon is a metaphor for life.

It is a heroic Greek myth of a soldier running to deliver an urgent message and then collapsing the moment he delivers it.  Or perhaps a mythic but true story.

This Sunday I will be immersed in this my as I run my 16th marathon.

But this blog is about branding, so let me turn my attention to the subject matter at hand.

Sponsoring a great event like the New York City Marathon creates a great sense of appreciation and good will in all of the people who’ll be out there running.  On behalf of my fellow runners, thank you.

This is a special race, the 40th running of the NYC marathon.  I’ve been in slightly more than 1/3rd of them.

By the way, here’s the “G” brand booth at the runners’ expo.  It is very bio-tech in the copy, imagery and design.  This seems to be along the brand trajectory that Gatorade has been moving since the new brand design was introduced last January.  More high tech, less approachable, more engineered.  Beautiful but is it right for Gatorade?  To me it doesn’t resonate with the picture in my mind of the players dumping a big barrel of Gatorade on the coach.  It’s hard for me personally to identify with those people in the “performance lab”.

What is your opinion?

Gbooth2

Gatorade Booth poster

 

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I’ll post again on Sunday or Monday and let you know how I fared.

Where have all the sponsors gone?

I love to run.  And I love to enter races where you get a nice shirt to wear next time I run or when I’m working out or just to have as a reminder that I ran that race.

To me, each shirt tells a story because every race has its own story.  The story has a narrative arc that matches the pre-race anticipation, the nervous energy of the first mile or two, the settling in to a comfortable pace and then the push to see what is left up to the finish line, that focal point of everything until now.  Then the afterword, the denouement of walking through the chutes, lungs burning, thinking back about the race, about mile splits, water stations, the choice of Poland Springs water or Gatorade.

It wasn’t so long ago that the race shirts were like walking billboards.  The sponsor logos were plastered all over the back of the shirt like sponsors on a NASCAR vehicle.  I was an unpaid media platform for advertisers reaching a small but influential group of New Yorkers.

In my last 3 races the shirts had the following sponsorships:

1. Asics, ING, “G” (formerly known as Gatorade) and PowerBar

2. The Norweigen Embassy

3. Poland Springs.  In fact, the back of the Poland Springs race shirt is bare, not a logo in sight.   Hardly a walking billboard.

It seems like the only sponsors left are the ones who know that runners have been their core audience.  The rest of the sponsors have vanished.  It is just another sign of the times when sponsorships dry up.  It is a worrisome sign for marketing.

Even so, I must admit that I like the cleaner, less cluttered look of the new racing shirts.

Next up for me is the ING New York City Marathon.  There the ING sponsorship is still strong, no doubt from a contract written long before the current troubles.  I’ll fill you in on the walking billboard situation when I pick up my shirt later this week.


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