NEW YORK: New York Road Runners has selected DKC to handle celebrity and high-profile personality engagement for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon in November.
DKC, which began working on the account about six weeks ago, was selected after the organization informally reviewed "a handful of agencies," said Chris Weiller, VP of media and PR at the organization. Weiller joined NYRR last October after previously leading sports marketing for the US Fund for UNICEF.
Before bringing on DKC, celebrity PR efforts for the marathon were handled in-house, but Weiller said the organization wanted to be more proactive, which is why it decided to hire an outside agency. New York Road Runners is the group that organizes the New York City Marathon.
Weiller said he was comfortable with DKC and knew about the agency from his time at previous jobs, such as working for the New York Knicks.
"They are not the traditional celebrity PR firm," he explained, "but we felt that what they brought to the table was an understanding both on the relationship side and on what we’re looking for as far as the high-profile celebrity and personality engagement."
A number of celebrities ran for charity in the New York City Marathon last year, such as actress and model Pamela Anderson, Olympic swimming champion Summer Sanders, and actor Patrick Wilson. Actor Sean Penn took part by sponsoring five Haitian runners in the race.
Weiller added that DKC also knows New York and sports well.
The agency will work with NYRR’s in-house PR team to coordinate celebrity participation in the marathon, whether it is running, volunteering, sponsoring, or getting involved with charities.
Aside from securing high-profile personalities for the race and engaging traditional media, DKC will figure out ways to leverage digital and social channels.
DKC will work with the organization throughout marathon season, said Weiller, and then NYRR will "take a step back and re-evaluate" further opportunities.
Budget information was not disclosed.
NYRR’s main PR agency partner is Rubenstein Communications, which handles "all things New York Road Runners year-round," such as issues management and support for the group’s 50-plus events and community programs, Weiller said. Rubenstein has been the AOR for the group for the past year, and has worked with it on a project basis for many years.