ASICS: Support Your Marathoner 2011

It’s mile 22. Your feet hurt, your legs feel like Jello. Digging deep, you glance up at a giant video screen placed next to the course. It’s incredible. Larger than life, and with full audio, your kids are cheering you on, urging you not to quit.

Sounds amazing? In 2010, ASICS made moments of inspiration like this possible with the award-winning Support Your Marathoner program, a one of a kind system that delivers personalized video messages course-side during the race, giving all 55,000 marathon runners their own virtual cheering sections. For 2011, SYM is back. It’s bigger and more motivational than ever, leveraging the power of social media to deliver more moments of inspiration to more runners.

Support Your Marathoner 2010

Developed by advertising agency Vitro, Support Your Marathoner 2011 gives racers the power to gather messages of support by posting requests to their Facebook and Twitter communities. Every time a message is uploaded, the runner’s Friends and Followers are alerted, encouraging even more messages.

Support Your Marathoner

Digitally supporting marathoners is one thing. But until now, there was no easy way for friends and family to digitally follow their runner’s progress on race day.

This year, ASICS has a solution for that as well. Also new for 2011, the “Share Your Glory” Facebook app, which allows marathon runners to send real-time updates on their race progress to their social media Friends and Followers. On the ASICS America Facebook Page, runners pre-write three messages which are released via Facebook and Twitter as the racer passes the 9, 13, and 22 mile marks.

Share Your Glory

Awarded the 2011 Promo Pro Award for “Most Innovative Communication Strategy” and the 2011 Gold Ex Award for Best Sports Sponsorship, Support Your Marathoner uses a one-of-a-kind digital system called the “Trigger Chip” to identify runners and deliver their personal video messages of support.

As the chip passes over special sensor mats placed along the course, the Support Your Marathoner system identifies the runner, locates their messages of support, and sends them to the nearest nearest video screen (40 foot LED displays). The sensor mats are strategically placed so that the video plays, just as the intended runners jogs past.

This case study explains the technology.

To schedule interviews or learn more:

John Hickman, Communications Director, Vitro

O:619-234-0408 // C:720-291-9003

No One Runs Alone ASICS Expands Support Your Marathoner For 2011

Social Media Program Inspires Runners With Personal In-Race Videos

(New York, NY) ASICS America Corporation, the official sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon, announced today it is bringing back, and expanding, the award-winning “Support Your Marathoner” program for the 2011 Marathon. This year, Support Your Marathoner will leverage the power of social media to deliver more 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 2010 Support Your Marathoner program gained international attention by allowing friends and family to send pictures, texts, and video messages of support to the marathon runner of their choice. Using ASICS’ own system called the “trigger chip,” the motivational messages were delivered to the right runners, at the right time, as they ran past giant video screens placed along the course. 7000 runners from 17 countries took up the offer to create their own virtual cheering sections.

“ASICS believes that every single marathoner should have 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.”

For 2011, ASICS is bringing back the Support Your Marathoner system, with significant additions. A new Support Your Marathoner website lets ING New York City Marathon runners 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.

This year, ASICS will also debut the “Share Your Glory” Facebook app. With the app, runners can 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 the 9, 13, and 22 mile marks. Both Support Your Marathoner and Share Your Glory were developed in conjunction with advertising agency Vitro.

“Our goal with Support Your Marathoner is to create a much deeper level of personal connection with ASICS’ core audience, runners, their family and friends,” says Tom Sullivan, Principal, Vitro. “This program is an incredible example of Magnetic Marketing, the kind of marketing that draws people into a brand experience, and builds loyalty by actually creating something of value. It’s the kind of progressive thinking we pride ourselves on at Vitro”

The Support Your Marathoner website goes live October 14th, and will be supported through email blasts from the New York Road Runners organization, and ASICS’ own growing social media community.


About vitropress

Communications Director, VITRO
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