Tough Mudder, the obstacle course run synonymous with hardcore grit and gruel, announced a multi-year presenting partnership deal for global race events with Merrell, an outdoor division of Wolverine Worldwide.
The partnership includes the presenting sponsorship of 60+ global events in 2016, connecting more than two million Tough Mudder participants with Merrell’s innovative outdoor footwear and apparel. The addition of Merrell is an effort to inspires people to seek outdoor challenges and enjoy the outside every day.
At the same time, Tough Mudder is also launching a completely new event series, the Tough Mudder Half. In the spirit of Merrell’s commitment to bringing outdoor experiences to wide and new audiences, Merrell will be the presenting partner for this new breed of Mudder. The world-wide event series will bring the mud and obstacles Tough Mudder is known for to a shorter-distance format.
“At Merrell, we believe that hard elements shouldn’t harden your spirit, that they should be enjoyed, not defeated,” said Jim Gabel, Merrell president. “Tough Mudder shares our vision of wit and grit, and together we are committed to inspiring others to overcome obstacles by eliminating barriers to enjoying the outdoors.”
Will Dean, CEO and co-founder of Tough Mudder Inc. added, “Tough Mudder is more than an event – it’s a lifestyle based on teamwork, courage, personal accomplishment, and fun, and our partnership with Merrell reflects these shared values. Together we will continue to innovate and improve the event in 2016, and help inspire a new community of Mudders.”
The partnership will leverage both brands’ innovation and design capabilities, bringing new products and features to global participants. Touchpoints for the partnership will include:
- Finisher t-shirts: Every Tough Mudder and Tough Mudder Half finisher will receive a performance t-shirt celebrating their accomplishment. The lightweight technical tees will feature Merrell’s M Select Wick technology to combat sweat and dry quickly – perfect for forging through water, barbed wire and rugged terrain.
- On-site Presence: Merrell and Tough Mudder will co-develop a unique obstacle that encapsulates the thrill of the outdoors. Merrell is also planning to enhance the on-site Mudder Village for 2016, which will offer participants the opportunity to engage with each other and with spectators as part of Merrell’s new “Do What’s Natural” brand platform.
- Gear: Merrell will bring its heritage in performance gear to the event through a line of co-developed gear designed to get Mudders “from sign-up to the finish line.” In 2016, Merrell will introduce the Tough Mudder inspired All Out Crush trail running shoe, with additional products to follow. The M Select Grip and deep, multi-directional lugs of the All Out Crush shoe provide 360-degree traction, while flex grooves release mud to allow the foot to move naturally and help propel on ascents. The TPU mesh coating helps protect you from the elements and allows for easy cleaning of mud and dirt – no more throwing your shoes out after the event. A UniFly midsole is soft to the ground to connect and cushion from the terrain for a firm foot and more efficient stride.
- Giveaways: 50 Mudders who sign up for a 2016 event will also receive a $250 Merrell gift card, equipping them to focus on training and motivating them to conquer their next event.