Beginning in 2017, New Balance becomes the full-time licensee of NYRR-branded shoes and apparel, and will produce more than 300,000 sport-tek race participant T-shirts each year. New Balance also will manage the back end of NYRRâ€™s e-commerce site, and in some cases, President and CEO Rob DeMartini said, run the front end, too.
â€œWe believe we can play a major role in commercializing their brand and their events all over the world,â€ DeMartini said. The NYC Marathon will become New Balanceâ€™s largest sponsored property by far, and will remain so through the life of the deal, DeMartini pledged. Itâ€™s New Balanceâ€™s first deal within the World Marathon Majors series. Adidas has Boston, London and Berlin, while Nike has Chicago and Asics remains with Tokyo.
Just weeks before CEO Mary Wittenberg left to launch Virgin Sport in May, the nonprofit hit the market in the footwear/apparel category. Every major shoemaker showed interest, and several, including Adidas, Asics and New Balance, pursued the business late into the summer. Exclusive talks with New Balance began between â€œhalf to three-quarters of the wayâ€ through the process, said NYRR Chief Executive Michael Capiraso.
NYRR hopes to sell at least one more foundation-level DEAL. Capiraso indicated buyers would likely emerge from the clubâ€™s roster of one-off event sponsors, just as New Balance expanded on its title sponsorship of the Brooklyn Halfâ€™s pre-race party. Financial services, telecommunications, consumer electronics and autos are the target categories, he said.
â€œThis is our third one,â€ Capiraso said, â€œand we do think thereâ€™s a fourth one out there.â€
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