After 25 years as the TCS NYC Marathon official footwear and apparel partner, Asics announced Monday that it will end its partnership with the iconic event following the 2016 race. Sports Business Daily reports that New Balance will replace Asics in 2017.
Asics has been a prominent supporter of the marathon dating back nearly half a century to the first running of the race by fewer than 100 people in New York’s Central Park.
In a statement, Asics Amerca President and CEO Gene McCarthy called the decision to terminate the brand’s partnership with the marathon as a “strategic business decision” based on changes in both the running and marketing landscape. He added, “This was the right time for us to take a strategic look at our overall marketing and engagement plans for the future.” However, he noted that the company will plan some special activations for its final year as a sponsor.
Asics America continues to sponsor nearly 200 running events in the U.S. and internationally. It also supports many of the world’s top and up-and-coming long and middle distance runners, including Olympian Deena Kastor, who recently broke the American masters marathon record in Chicago, Olympian and American half marathon record holder Ryan Hall, Sara Hall, Diego Estrada, Heather Kampf, Shadrack Biwott, Josphat Boit, Julie Culley, Lauren Jimison, Ryan Martin, Alysia Montaño, Adriana Nelson, Gabe Proctor, Becky Wade and Bria Wetsch.