Adsarchive » Promo » Asics » SUPPORT YOUR MARATHONER


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Industry Clothing, Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories
Media Promo & PR
Market United States
Agency Vitro
Executive Creative Director John Vitro
Creative Director Kt Thayer
Art Director Kevin Lukens
Copywriter Schuyler Vanden Bergh
Account Supervisor Danielle Chalin
Digital Creative Director Marc Lucas
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Product/Service: SPORTSWEAR
Agency: VITRO
Date of First Appearance: Nov 6 2010
Entrant Company: VITRO, San Diego, USA
Executive Creative Director: John Vitro (Vitro)
Creative Director: KT Thayer (Vitro)
Art Director: Kevin Lukens (Vitro)
Copywriter: Schuyler Vanden Bergh (Vitro)
Interactive Producer: Ruthie Baer (Vitro)
Event Coordinator: Marc Wilson (Vitro)
Group Account Director: Michael Catanzaro (Vitro)
Account Supervisor: Danielle Chalin (Vitro)
Digital Creative Director: Marc Lucas (Vitro)
Principal: Tom Sullivan (VITRO)
Media placement: Microsite - - Oct. 1, 2010
Media placement: Videos - NY Marathon Race Course - Nov. 6, 2010

Describe the objective of the promotion.
In 2010, ASICS wanted their New York City Marathon sponsorship to forge a deep and personal connection with their core customers: runners, their families and fans. While elite runners have a support system during the race, the marathon is a lonely experience for most competitors. So ASICS designed a program to provide the encouragement and motivation that only friends and family can supply, by putting them on the course, virtually. The goal was to demonstrate support for everyone participating in the NYC Marathon, while showing a deep understanding of what it takes to compete in a race of this magnitude.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
We reached out to friends and family using social media and our own street teams, collecting 7,000 messages of support from 17 countries. The challenge was getting these messages to the right people, at the right time during the race. Our solution was our exclusive invention called the Trigger Chip, attached to a runner’s shoe. When racers passed over special sensor mats, the software in the chip, which we wrote, identified the runner, located their messages of support and broadcast these messages on giant course-side LED screens. Digital magic, designed not just to advertise, but to inspire.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
At its core, ASICS is a running company that understands, supports and motivates runners better than any other brand. Support Your Marathoner was a technologically ground-breaking way of bringing this philosophy to life. In the middle of an exhausting race, imagine the surprise when a spouse, child, parent or good friend popped up on a 20-foot LED screen for some real-time inspiration, complete with audio. Some runners stopped and stared at their videos. Others asked us to take their pictures in front of their personalised content. In Queens, one woman burst into tears.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
“Support Your Marathoner” was an overwhelming success. We gathered over 7,000 messages of support, including over 300 videos, and 2,000 stills, broadcast in front of more than 2 million race fans. As the messages played, every bright smile, on every runner’s face proved the program was working. After the race was over, we got even more proof. The Boston Marathon, arguably the most elite road race in the country, asked if they could use “Support Your Marathoner,” as did marathons from Paris to Phoenix to Tokyo. “Support Your Marathoner” also generated substantial media coverage, and Facebook and Twitter traffic.