In what might be the worst kept secret in the running industry, there will be a changing of the guard of the official footwear and apparel sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon after the 2016 race.
ASICS announced today that it will be ending its 25-year partnership with the New York City Marathon following the 2016 race. On Tuesday, New Balance is holding a press conference in New York in which it is expected to announce its new long-term partnership with the New York Road Runners, which owns and operates the marathon and numerous other races in New York.
In its release, ASICS said next year will be the last year it serves as the official footwear and apparel partner of the iconic five-borough marathon. In addition to its official sponsorship, ASICS said it has proudly supported the marathon dating back nearly half a century to the first running of the race in 1970 when fewer than 100 people ran it through Central Park.
The New York City Marathon is the largest in the world, with an average of more than 50,000 finishers in recent years, including 49,617 finishers this year.
“ASICS has had a tremendous run with the TCS NYC Marathon over the last quarter century and we will always hold the amazing runners and fans in New York near and dear to our hearts,”said Gene McCarthy, the newly appointed ASICS America President and CEO. “Though not easy, this was a strategic business decision, as the running and marketing landscape continue to change so dramatically. This was the right time for us to take a strategic look at our overall marketing and engagement plans for the future.”
ASICS also recently ended its sponsorship with the LA Marathon as Skechers Performance is taking over for the 2016 race. But, McCarthy said, the brand still sponsors more than 200 running races worldwide and numerous top-tier athletes, including Americans Deena Kastor, Ryan Hall and Alysia Montaño.
McCarthy hinted that ASICS will go out in style in New York City and will have several big things planned for runners next year.
“As one of the world’s premier performance running brands, the sport is in our DNA and our commitment to runners of all kinds and developing the very best products and experiences for them will never change,” McCarthy said in a release.