Asics Doubles Down on Performance Run With LA Marathon Sponsorship

Asics has reinvigorated its focus on performance run this year with the MetaRide release last month, and the brand is further bolstering its position in the sport by sponsoring the Los Angeles Marathon.

The company announced today that it has entered a five-year sponsorship deal with Conqur Endurance Group that will make Asics the official footwear and apparel partner, and presenting sponsor, of the L.A. Marathon. The deal begins in 2020.

“Our partnership with Conqur to become the presenting sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon solidifies our commitment to the run category,” Asics North America CEO Koichiro Kodama said in a statement. “Asics is back and more dedicated than ever to drive our brand forward as we build off of the very foundation we were created on: performance running. We are honored to have this opportunity once again and look forward to reconnecting with our core audience to bring the West Coast community together to celebrate this great sport.”

The deal, according to Asics, will yield on-site and in-store event activations, digital and social content, broadcast integrations and online retail promotions. Ahead of the race, Asics will release limited-edition footwear, apparel and accessories for the marathon.

In California, the label will also partner with the Pasadena Half Marathon at the Rose Bowl, the L.A. Big 5K and the Santa Monica Classic 5K and 10K. (The partnership will kick off with the Pasadena Half Marathon in January.)

Asics’ new marathon sponsorship comes four years after the brand relinquished claim of the NYC Marathon sponsorship to New Balance. (New Balance announced the 10-year deal with New York Road Runners in December 2015.) For the last four years, Skechers has been the title sponsor of the L.A. Marathon.

Last month, Asics’ new EVP of sales, categories and marketing, Richard Sullivan, spoke with FN about the brand’s renewed focus on performance run.

“We have to get back to our roots of focusing on run specialty, especially in the North American market,” Sullivan said. “We will continue to innovate. We just launched MetaRide, and everything has been positive so far. We have to take that innovation and ground that in running and the run specialty channel. We have to fix a few things operationally and refocus some of our resources in that channel, but there’s no question that is the direction we’re going in.”

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