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| 1 minute read

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Marathon, half marathon, triathlon—whatever the long-distance endurance activity might be, it became a popular outlet for a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic when indoor exercise was not available. These activities have continued to be part of a wellness culture that has seen an influx of participants, fueled by a desire for social connection and an infusion of new technologies that make running, and wellness generally, more available and fun to the average consumer.

These trends are being seen at all levels. On the elite level, new technologies are enabling runners to shatter long-held marathon records and intensify competition both among competitors and among the shoe companies that work with them on advanced running shoes. People are watching, too, with increased number of viewers for races like the New York City Marathon.

For brands, sponsoring races, both large and small, remains an effective strategy to tap into a highly motivated community and increase brand awareness, all around a healthy lifestyle. They are able to tap into very personal running and endurance event training experiences that many runners and triathletes have.  

The overall category of health and wellness continues to expand, and brands are finding ways, though running and other participatory activities (pickeball?), to engage both the enthusiast and the casual participant. One trend to watch is how active brands that are not endemic to a particular sport are in engaging with the sport's participants. We expect to see running shoe brands or health insurance companies sponsor marathons, but will we see more consumer staple companies or technology companies jump in and attempt to position themselves as health and wellness companies? And how will the brands that do engage determine to activate their involvement, beyond just serving as the sponsor of an event? Given the growth in health and wellness and the overall attractiveness to brands, we are likely to get answers to these questions.


advertising marketing & promotions, retail & consumer brands, sports & esports