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Auckland Marathon Gets New Naming Sponsor - adidas

Auckland Marathon Gets New Naming Sponsor - adidas

Global sportswear giant, adidas, announced today it is the new naming sponsor of the popular Auckland Marathon, as the company embraces a running revolution in New Zealand.

Over 500,000 New Zealanders are considered recreational runners/walkers and about 42,000 are competitive runners. This translated to a 15% growth in running equipment for the adidas NZ business last year. The business indicators are the same for 2004.

“New Zealanders appear to be moving from traditional sports (and a commitment to sports clubs) to bite-sized recreation and seeking one-off challenges like marathons”, says adidas marketing manager Craig Waugh.

SPARC statistics state that running/walking is the 2nd most popular leisure activity of New Zealanders.

“adidas has to be able to respond to shifts in trends. Our business is focussed on providing the very best equipment to all our runners (from high performers to recreational runners) as this running revolution takes off.

“We have a long history of supporting our top runners by providing the best technical support, but increasingly our recreational runners are asking for technical advice and emotional support which we are working hard to give them.

“Our recently released adidas technical guide provides lots of information about the technical advances of our footwear and apparel but also provides information on training programmes, race-day techniques, a running events calendar, and advice from a recognised adidas podiatrist.

For most New Zealanders the adidas brand is synonymous with rugby, but the adidas business started in 1920 with a pair of running shoes. Jesse Owens won the 1936 Olympic Gold in the first ever pair of spikes seen in the world. These were made for him by adidas. John Walker, Peter Snell and Rod Dixon to name a few also applied their trade wearing adidas runners. Today, high profile athletes such as Haile Gebrselassie also wear adidas.

“adidas was a running brand before it became a sports brand. We have been delivering the best innovations and technical support to runners for over eighty years. This gives us the credibility to support a premier running event like the Auckland Marathon, I suppose it is like coming home for our business.”

The adidas Auckland Marathon is the largest and leading road race in New Zealand and has been operating for ten years. Over 10,000 runners are expected to register this year for the event which is to be held on 31 October 2004, commencing in Devonport.

“We are thrilled with the support and commitment that adidas will bring to the event over the next few years as naming sponsor. The partnership with adidas enables us to take this event to a truly global stage.” says Event Business Development Manager, Stephen Brown.

“The strength of the adidas global running brand and the company’s strong commitment to the development of sport in New Zealand will help take this event to a new level.”

“We are also delighted to have the Ford Motor Company as a new sponsor this year as well.

“The combination of the Ford brand, with strong heritage ties in New Zealand, and global sportswear brand, adidas, will deliver a lot of added value to recreational and competitive runners in this country by elevating events like the adidas Auckland Marathon”.

This year every finisher will receive an adidas Climacool t-shirt and there are dozens of spot prizes to be given away. Plus there are two trips to the London Marathon up for grabs, which is also an adidas sponsored event.

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