Athletics

ASICS opens new EMEA HQ, releases Sustainability Report

Japanese sportswear manufacturer ASICS has opened its new EMEA headquarters in Greater Amsterdam, while it has also released its 2018 Sustainability Report detailing its progress towards medium and long-term targets.

The company’s new headquarters are designed to reflect its ‘Sound Mind in a Sound Body’ philosophy and support the physical and mental well-being of its employees.

It is hoped the use of space, light and natural materials, as well as fitness and well-being facilities, will encourage movement and reduce stress at the new office.

INEOS to support Kipchoge’s marathon record attempt

UK chemicals firm INEOS is stepping up its investment in sport by backing Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge in his latest attempt to run the world's first sub-two-hour marathon.

The INEOS 1:59 Challenge will take place in late September or early October, with a venue currently being decided. A number of options that offer a flat-looped circuit are being considered for Kipchoge, who last month won his fourth London Marathon title.

London Marathon donations rocket

London Marathon charity donations through Virgin Money Giving, the race’s official fundraising partner, rocketed by more than 20% year-on-year for yesterday’s event.

Virgin Money, also the title sponsor of the 2019 London Marathon, said that total donations for the event had reached £63.7m by Friday, already setting a world record for an annual single-day fundraiser.

The average raised per runner was expected to smash last year’s total of £2,100, organisers added.

Recyclable running shoe unveiled by adidas

Sportswear giant adidas has unveiled FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, a new running shoe that is 100% recyclable.

The company said that 200 individuals will test out the shoe – which is made from a single material, TPU – and provide feedback as part of adidas’ broadest ever global beta trial.

It is then hoped that the shoe will be released to the public in the first half of 2021, with adidas targeting a full commercial launch in the spring or the summer.

ASICS names new Category lead

ASICS has appointed experienced tech marketer Gary Raucher to lead a new Category organisation focused on driving growth in running, core performance sports and sports style in EMEA.

As Executive Vice President, Category, Raucher will lead Marketing, Merchandising and Product across the region.

Raucher has more than 20 years’marketing experience. Prior to joining ASICS, he co-founded a strategic brand consultancy working with brands to develop insight-led marketing strategies, drive consistent marketing activations and build world-class marketing capabilities.

Team GB extends Aldi partnership

Team GB has extended its current partnership with Aldi by a further four years to 2025.

The continued agreement with the British Olympic Association will see Aldi support Team GB through a third Olympic cycle – Paris 2024, making it one of Team GB’s longest-serving partners. 

Since the partnership began in 2015, Aldi’s Get Set to Eat Fresh initiative has reached over 810,000 young people (aged 5 to 14 years) in the UK. Teaching home cooking skills and the importance of eating fresh, healthy food, the programme is on track to reach 1.2 million young people by 2020.   

Müller continues with British Athletics

British Athletics has announced an extended agreement with dairy brand Müller through to 2021, taking the total length of the partnership to six years.

Under the new deal, Müller will become title partner of the 2019 British Championships in Birmingham at the end of August, while continuing to support the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team and other British Athletics’ televised events.

THE BIG INTERVIEW: MiCHAEL JOHNSON

Talent management agency Benchmark Talent has relaunched as thinkBeyond Talent, building on 20 years’ experience to provide a new and distinct service to the talent management and strategy marketplace. The relaunch sees a repositioning to focus on supporting athletes towards a career underpinned by social values within the context of the growing power of the athlete voice and rise in cause marketing.

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