Asics America Corporation, official sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon, is expanding its award-winning “Support Your Marathoner” program for the 2011 race. This year, Support Your Marathoner will leverage the power of social media to deliver additional moments of inspiration to more runners than ever before, ensuring that no marathoner has to finish the race alone.
Recently named the “Most Innovative Communication Strategy” of the year by Promo Magazine, the inaugural Support Your Marathoner program in 2010 gained international attention by allowing friends and family to send pictures, texts, and video messages of support to the marathon runner of their choice. Utilizing innovative technology, motivational messages were delivered to the right runners, at the right time, as they ran past giant video screens placed along the course.
More than 7,000 runners from 17 countries utilized the program and created their own virtual cheering sections. Asics is bringing back the Support Your Marathoner activation with significant additions. This year, the enhanced program will incorporate a new website ( www.supportyourmarathoner.com ) allowing the runners to use their own Facebook communities to ask for messages of support. Every time a support message is uploaded, the runner's entire Facebook community is alerted, and encouraged to upload more messages. The Support Your Marathoner website will also give runners their own personalized support gallery of messages, pictures and videos to have after the race is done.
This year, Asics will also debut the “Share Your Glory” Facebook application. The “app” lets runners update their social media community on their race progress in real-time by pre-writing three Facebook and Twitter posts which are then sent out as the marathoners pass each of three areas at the 9-, 13-, and 22-mile marks.
“Asics is committed to giving marathon runners everything they need to compete at their best, including motivation and inspiration during the race,” says Asics' Vice President of Marketing Erik Forsell. “Last year, we were blown away by the reaction to Support Your Marathoner. We saw runners who were digging deep for the final miles look up and break into tears when they saw their kids and their friends urging them on. We instantly knew we had to do more.”
The Support Your Marathoner website ( www.supportyourmarathoner.com ) goes live October 14, and will be supported by email blasts from the New York Road Runners and Asics' own growing social media community. Fans can follow the tweets and create their own with #ASICSrunsNYC.