Clothing and footwear brands flock to New York for the marathon – WWD
NEW YORK — From running shoes and windbreakers to restaurants and hotels, the New York City Marathon is a major source of revenue for the city as well as the brands associated with the annual event.
According to the New York Road Runners, which organizes the race, the marathon generated an estimated $427 million in 2019, “significantly boosting tourism, tax revenue and the economy,” according to an economic impact report by Audience Research. & Analysis.
Although the group does not offer projections, city officials estimate the impact will be in the order of $400 million again this year.
Due to the pandemic, the race was canceled in 2020, and in 2021 entries were capped at 33,000. But this year it will return to full capacity, with 50,000 participants from around the world planning to cross the five boroughs. sunday.
The Marathon Exhibit at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is one of the most popular shopping spots for runners. All runners must go to the exhibition, which is one of the largest in the country, to collect their registration materials and official bibs.
Once there, it’s almost impossible to miss New Balance, which is the official apparel and footwear sponsor of the race. In addition to the TCS New York City Marathon collection, the Boston-based brand sells other New Balance apparel, footwear and accessories. Retail prices for the marathon collection range from $30 to $235 for apparel and $145 to $250 for footwear.
Although New Balance sponsors other races, New York is “always special because it hosts the most international runners of the year,” said Kate Tamsett, senior product manager for running. “Being able to connect with such a wide range of runners around the world is extremely valuable for our brand.”
Among the most popular items is the Official New York City Marathon Jacket, which costs $134.99 and is made from wind and water resistant material that helps keep the runner comfortable. during the race or simply while recovering from the effort.
This year, she added, the brand also created an official Surplus jacket made from 98% surplus materials. “That means we use leftover fabric from our factory — from canceled orders or discontinued styles — and reuse the fabric. By using that leftover fabric, we keep that extra material from ending up in a landfill. These jackets offer state-of-the-art technology and offer protection against wind and water.
Other historic bestsellers include the PMV Shutter Speed Collection, the brand’s “cutting edge running collection” that uses recycled content and a dyeing technique that reduces water consumption by at least 80%. % per meter.
Although the temperature for this year’s race is less than ideal for the marathon at 73 degrees with 75% humidity, New Balance doesn’t see any last-minute surges in jersey or shorts sales.
“Weather is always a bit of a wild card, so we make sure there are options to accommodate any type of weather,” Tamsett said. “We also think people are buying this product to wear after this weekend to show off their marathon accomplishments throughout the year.”
While the big push is at the show, New Balance’s official marathon product is also being sold at the New York Road Runners’ Runcenter, Fleet Feet and Paragon Sports in New York and online.
In addition to product, New Balance is hosting a series of activations around race weekend. He opened a pop-up at the Time Warner Center in partnership with Fleet Feet for runners in demo shoes, hosted races with sponsored athletes Emma Coburn and Dani Jones, and offered fireside chat with Emily Sisson, the American marathon and half-marathon record holder and Jake Wightman, the current 1,500-meter world champion.
Although New Balance is the official running partner, other running shoe brands have also flocked to New York to connect with the international running community.
Tracksmith, a Boston-based independent running brand co-founded by Matt Taylor, opened a marathon weekend in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, in anticipation of a permanent store it will open in the spring. This store, located at 147 Wythe Street, will be 1,500 square feet over two floors and will be a retail space as well as a community gathering place. Like the company’s flagship in Boston and future outpost in London, it will be called Trackhouse.
Taylor said the brand, known for its classic style sportswear, has been doing activations in New York since its founding in 2014 to build a community around running.
When this year’s pop-up opened on Wednesday afternoon, Taylor said 150 people were waiting in line outside to shop the brand’s marathon-specific collection and check out her new running shoe.
“Marathon week is so unique because of the foot traffic it creates,” Taylor said. The store is giving away a free running pack with a tote bag, cap and a copy of its magazine, Meter, to all registered runners. He also organizes fireside chats and deconfinement races. The day after the race, finishers are invited to stop by the store and have their race time marked on a special commemorative poster.
Each year, Tracksmith creates a special collection linked to the Marathon Majors, or the six best international races: Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London and New York.
“We create exclusive products every year, all with the same logo, we just change cities for each race,” Taylor said.
At the New York store, Taylor said expected warm temperatures for race day reduced glove sales, but shorts and jerseys were among the best sellers, along with base layers in anticipation. cooler days ahead.
Britt Olsen, general manager of the Americas for On, the popular Swedish running brand, said the company held a happy hour and concert at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City to encourage conversation around sport and culture. a foot race.
The brand has also held a series of events around town as part of its Point2 program, which offers motivation and guidance to marathon runners. They’ve included everything from workout runs and product presentations to strength and conditioning sessions, yoga classes, food trucks, and panel discussions. The events, which were free but required advance registration, were sold out, she said.
Olsen said On did not create a special marathon collection, but instead focused on showcasing its regular range of footwear and apparel. The brand opted out of taking a stand at the expo this year in favor of holding events at its own store in SoHo as well as at Nordstrom, REI and other retailers in town that carry the line. “We think it’s the most creative way to present yourself in the world of running,” she said, adding that by organizing events that encourage the exploration of the relationship between running, movement and spirit, it can help runners work more than just their body.
Hoka, a heavily cushioned shoe popular with endurance runners, can also be seen in New York, hosting group runs at its Upper West Side store as well as a speaker series featuring a panel of athletes at the Brooklyn Running Company, a black women-targeted event with Rungrl and a mobility course with Finish Line Physical Therapy.
The TCS New York Marathon takes place on Sunday with the professional wheelchair men’s division starting at 8 a.m., professional women starting at 8:40 a.m., professional men at 9:05 a.m. and non-professionals starting in waves on the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island at 9:10 a.m. The race crosses all five boroughs and ends on West Drive in Central Park.