SBD/October 23, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Asics Adds Tech-Inspired Elements, Map-Adorned Shoe To N.Y. Marathon Campaign

Asics' budget for the '12 marathon will increase by about 20% from last year
Asics this week is debuting a new ad campaign for the Nov. 4 ING N.Y. Marathon that “seeks to mix the new with the tried and true,” according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Sources said that “most of the changes are inspired by new technologies” rather than a “desire for novelty.” The Asics Sound Room is a new element that “will offer passers-by in the Columbus Circle subway station in Manhattan an interactive experience centered on sounds of the marathon.” The room is “part of a larger installation in the station that also includes a Wall of Marathoners with the names of all the estimated 45,000 runners.” The “electro-funk duo Chromeo will help promote the Sound Room by creating a soundtrack that uses ambient New York City sounds, sounds that are common to running and the heartbeat of a runner, Ryan Hall, who is an Asics endorser.” Asics America VP/Marketing Erik Forsell said that the company “sponsors the marathon to reach ‘beginners and long-term marathoners.’” Forsell added that the “target audience is the kind of people who include running the New York City Marathon on their ‘bucket lists.’” Forsell said that the campaign, via ad agency Vitro, will also “promote a new shoe, the GT series ... including a GT2000 adorned with a map of the marathon route.” There will be “commercials for the shoe locally, on WABC, and nationally, on ABC and ESPN2.” Forsell “estimates the budget for the campaign to be about 20 percent more than Asics America spent last year on its sponsorship of the marathon.” Forsell added that “about 10 percent of the company’s total advertising spending each year is devoted to the marathon campaign.” Elliott put the '11 figure at $1.92M, and adding 20% to it “would result in an estimate for the 2012 campaign budget of $2.3 million” (NYTIMES.com, 10/22).
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