New Balance Train to NYC Recap
On November 6, 2022, the Believe in the Run team partnered with New Balance to run the New York City Marathon. Over the course of 12 weeks, ten members of the program trained in the New Balance SC Trainer, the newest max-cushion shoe from New Balance, featuring a large midsole of FuelCell cushion and an EnergyArc carbon-fiber plate. On race day, we wore the SC Elite v3, the most advanced marathon racing shoe from New Balance.
The campaign slogan was “Train To NYC,” a double entendre that played off the train system in New York City, and our own training with New Balance that would take us to the start line.
For this event, we also teamed up with content creators like Laura Green, Alison Staples, and nutritionist Meghann Featherstun. Their additional content generated countless additional impressions and views around the experience, creating an exponential effect on the reach of the project.
To kick things off and learn more about how New Balance develops their products and trains their athletes, we headed to New Balance headquarters in Boston, Mass., for a couple days in August.
While we were there, we got to see the full extent of The Track at New Balance, their state-of-the-art training and performance facility that opened last spring. It’s an incredible spot that will be sure to see many records fall in the future of running. While we were there, the team went on a tour of the Sports Research Lab, where we got to see shoe testing in real time, the various training technologies used to maximize athlete performance, and meet with some of the designers and developers behind New Balance’s most technologically advanced shoes.
A couple of us did A/B VO2-max testing on their treadmill, and were able to see our stride and footfall slowed down in micro-increments, as well as a full display of our gait cycle. All-in-all, it was a pretty awesome experience, and we walked away with an in-depth insight on what New Balance does behind the scenes to give their athletes the competitive edge that’s needed on race day.Watch New Balance Sports Research Lab
Our second stop on the Train to NYC was at the Bronx 10-Miler, a test of our fitness at the halfway point of marathon training. The team took the train up from Baltimore and ran the race that Sunday. Along the way, we were able to obtain several perspectives with on-course videography and put together a weekend and race recap for YouTube. It was a great weekend experiencing some of the streets and vibes we’d be getting on race day in New York.Watch New Balance & NYRR Bronx 10 Mile Recap
Of course, the whole campaign was built around the New York City Marathon, so November 6 was here before we knew it.
In the month leading up to the race, we promoted our shake-out run with New Balance to our own audience, and leveraged our relationships with other runners in our space to spread the word and join us for the event. Prior to the event, we generated over 500 RSVP via sign-up form on our website.
The run was hosted at Columbus Circle in Manhattan and was a 3-mile loop through Central Park. Friends joining us for the run included Michael Ko (aka Kofuzi), Mrs. Space Cadet, Laura Green, Mario Fraioli, Mike Wardian, Lindsey Hein, Drew Whitcomb, and more. New Balance set up an event space within the Columbus Circle mall, featuring bagels and coffee, step-and-repeat photo area, open bar with mimosas and beer. Participants also received a custom New Balance/Believe in the Run waistpack.
To say the event was a smashing success would be an understatement.
Race day was the hottest-day on record for a New York City Marathon in November, hitting the high-70s in the morning. Despite the benefit of cloud cover, it was a physically taxing race for everyone involved, but the entire team finished and finished strong. We were able to document the experience via GoPro footage, which we compiled into a race recap video that was posted on YouTube and promoted with additional spend.
The campaign was an incredibly successful partnership for all parties involved, generating millions of views and impressions across channels. Our ability to reach across multiple platforms and leverage partnerships was key to spreading the word about the shake-out run. With hundreds of people showing up to the New Balance event, it was, by all accounts, the most successful brand activation at the New York City Marathon with anyone not named Kipchoge hosting it.
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