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Volume 21 No. 10
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Olympic medalist Simpson signs on to promote NYRR

New York Road Runners has signed Jenny Simpson, 1,500-meter bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, to become its first full-time brand ambassador, a role that includes becoming the public face of its youth running program and promoting the club’s events year round.

The New York City Marathon organizer routinely works with professional runners in one-off race appearance deals, but this more expansive relationship is “about being a part of who we are as an organization,” said NYRR spokesman Chris Weiller. In addition to the marathon, the club organizes dozens of smaller events around New York.

Simpson’s first duty will be special adviser and ambassador to Rising New York Road Runners, the club’s free youth outreach program, but she will work with executives to find other ways to promote NYRR in the future.

This is Simpson’s first commercial deal outside of her shoe/apparel contract with New Balance. The three-time Olympian had eschewed other promotional work until now, but she said she reached a point in her career where she began to consider her legacy. An urban club that works through schools to promote running was an ideal choice, she said, given her own background.

“Sports is something I really found on my own, and I found it through the public school system,” she said. “I found that to be a really powerful and really democratic way for kids to find sports.”

The deal includes standard name-and-likeness rights and in-person appearances, but also calls for Simpson to play a strategic role in the nonprofit’s programming. Details beyond the youth club are yet to be worked out, but possible areas of emphasis include anti-doping and running etiquette campaigns. Financial terms were not disclosed.

New Balance signed a 10-year sponsorship of NYRR in late 2015 but was not involved in this new deal.