ASICS was one of the sponsors of the New York City Marathon. The sneaker company is beloved by runners, but outside of that market, the company doesn’t quite have the cultural cache of Nike, New Balance, Adidas or even Reebok.
Leading up to the marathon, the company installed a 60-foot long video wall at the Columbus Circle subway station and challenged passersby to race against U.S. marathoner Ryan Hall. Hall is regarded as the best contemporary American long-distance runner, and he’s carving out a case for being one of the best of all-time. Oh, and he happens to be sponsored by ASICS. Fancy that.
It’s one thing to hear that Ryan Hall runs an average 4:46 mile over the duration of a marathon’s 26 miles. It’s another thing to experience how fast that really is by racing a digital Ryan Hall for 60 feet.
We doubt this installation will get people to buy more ASICS, but it will certainly lead to an appreciation for what marathoners are capable of.
What’s kind of bonkers about this is the civilians are sprinting and still they cannot match the same speed as Ryan Hall. Even the real Ryan Hall showed up for the promotion and had a difficult time against his digital self. It just goes to show how wide the gap is between professional athletes at the top of their game and regular people.