NYC Marathon Introduces App for iOS Devices
It is the largest one day sporting event in the world, and one of the biggest marketing bonanzas for athletics anywhere in the world. Yet for all its success, the ING New York City Marathon, which will be held this coming Sunday, is still a largely regional event. Despite the fact that thousands come from around the world to compete, and millions from around the world line the course, the event can slip through the grasp of the casual sports fan in a crowded fall marketplace.
To address that gap, the New York Road Runners club has looked to the digital space, and unveiled a state-of-the-art app to help place the Marathon on more of an international footing. The new app, launched this week, not only will be able to geolocate and track any of the thousands of runners, from the recreational runner to celebs like Kristy Turlington and Jennie Finch. Brand partners like ING, Subway and Dunkin Donuts will offer special promotions for those along the route and following around the world, and the Road Runners will provide training and conditioning tips for anyone with an interest in running anywhere around the world.
It is an app that is certainly a game changer for large scale events, especially those in lifestyle sports. We caught up with Ann Wells Crandall, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, NYRR and Ken Winell, Head of Digital, Mobile, Social Media, Customer Service, NYRR, to get more on the app, its functionality and the value of digital media for the sport of running.
What is the single biggest "game changer" that this app has vs. other large scale events or from the app last year?
o AWC - The marathon race experience is unique compared to other sports and events as our stadium is a 26.2 mile course through the five boroughs of New York City. The biggest game changer for the ING New York City Marathon Mobile Spectator App presented by Subway is the ability to engage with over two million fans along our 26.2 stadium.
o AWC - TRACKING: Further, we know that tracking runners across the five boroughs is a priority to the millions of spectators along the course and those tuning in from around the country and across the globe. With this in mind, we challenged ourselves to find the right formula and we are proud to say this app will be the first to integrate RFID chip timing and GPS technology to allow real-time tracking of race participants. Users can track up to 10 runners simultaneously. Something new this year, is the ability to track runners in real-time who choose to run with their smart phones. Since safety is always a priority at NYRR, we do not encourage people to text or call during the race and recommend the phone stay in a pocket or race belt.Continued on the next page