NEW YORK: A wide range of public personalities will take part in the ING New York City Marathon on November 7, including Today weatherman Al Roker, celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Bachelor contestant Andy Baldwin, supermodel Veronica Webb, and even Chilean miner Edison Pena.
“This year is probably the most diverse mix of celebrities we've ever had planning to take part,” said Ann Wells Crandall, executive VP, business development and marketing for New York Road Runners, which directs the marathon. She said the mix has helped organizers communicate this year's new campaign slogan, “I'm in. We're in.”
“We launched the new tagline to be inclusive of the marathoner, but also of the families, marathon staff, volunteers, and even the city itself,” Crandall told PRWeek. “The tagline has also made it easier for us to talk to the media because once you talk about it people really get it and want to rally behind the sentiment. And we absolutely talk to the media about the celebrities who will be taking part. In fact, that is probably one of the first questions we get asked by them.”
Crandall said the great thing about celebrities who want to take part is that they are usually more than happy to give media interviews.
Edelman is the main PR agency for the marathon, with Rubenstein Public Relations providing additional support, confirmed Crandall.
She said the marathon has also attracted four new sponsors this year: Nissan, Subway, Tata Consultancy Services and Unilever. In total, the ING New York City Marathon has 31 sponsors.
Many of the sponsors are using PR strategies to help activate their involvement. Subway, for instance, has generated media coverage through its spokesman Jared Fogle, who plans to run in the marathon.
Jan Johnson, CEO of MSA/MarketSmart Advertising, the ad agency for Subway, said, “Jared (has) visited various media outlets to share his story and talk about the NYC marathon. He spoke about two major milestones in his life – losing 245 pounds and preparing to run his first marathon.”
Articles have appeared in the local press, as well as in such national magazines as Parade and People.