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Mizuno app donates money for miles in support of exercise charity

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The Mizuno Baton app tracks miles to calculate the donation of $1 for every mile run to nonprofits using fitness as a gateway to help disadvantaged individuals.

The program is the second phase of Mizuno’s “What If Everybody Ran?” campaign, which celebrates running’s ability to inspire positive change. All proceeds benefit ‘Back on My Feet,’ an organization which aids those experiencing homelessness to regain traction in their personal and professional lives through job placement and other resources.

“This share functionality is the ‘baton’ or relay component of the app,” explains project leader John Sokolowski, account executive at McKinney, Durham, NC.

“It generates an automatic Twitter or Facebook message encouraging others to take the baton.”

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Mizuno is a global corporation which manufactures a wide variety of sports equipment and sportswear.

Digital relay
The desktop and mobile microsite IfEverybodyRan.com is the core of the program, where anyone can see the miles run and dollars raised to date, as well as leaderboards for individuals and states.


Participants have one week before passing the baton

Each participant who downloads and uses the ‘digital baton’ over the course of one week can then pass the baton to other runners through a social media share function which will remain live until August 25, with the restriction to download the app ending August 18.


Baton shows a user's immediate charitable impact

Back on My Feet is a Philadelphia-based national for-purpose organization which benefits from exercise charity to help homeless individuals into independent living, and operates in 11 chapter cities.

Solving donor fatigue
Runners and bikers alike have historically donated their mileage to charities.

Some of the nation’s largest annual walks and races including the ING NYC Marathon, and the AIDS Walk attract hundreds of thousands of participants and raise millions of dollars for research and cure and illness investigation.

Apps are helping do the same though conversely on a daily basis.

Charity Miles runs on a similar exercise app by which anyone can earn money for charities in exchange for pure sweat.


Charity Miles shows real-time impact for both the runner and charity

Bikers receive 10 cents per mile while walkers and runners collect 25 cents.

Firstly available in 2012, Charity Miles self-funded an initial $1 million to cover the app’s first users. Aside from athletes, corporate sponsors are enticed to use the platform for runs and rides, offering sponsors a unique way to connect with participants.

In order for charities to receive donation, users are required to share their activity on Facebook and Twitter.

Presently, there are nine charities to choose from, including Achilles International, Autism Speaks, Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity. More charities are scheduled to be added to the platform.

Alternative marketing tactics
Charity Miles and Baton join an open market for fitness-based fundraising apps.

Striiv, a wearable pedometer device with built-in apps plugs in walkers to various charitable causes. Similarly, Plus 3 Mobile is an iPhone app which also allows users to exchange fitness for charity dollars. The Plus 3 app includes broader exercise sponsorship including Zumba and weight training workouts.


Plus 3 offers more activities than simply biking and running

Apps like the aforementioned help avoid donor fatigue by offering repeat sponsored fitness events the opportunity to reach audiences in alternative ways.

“We wanted to make an app that was ‘wicked simple’ — in design and in functionality,” said Megan Wade, senior producer at McKinney.

“Run, donate, share. That’s it; Mizuno is always willing to hear our ideas.”

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at michelle@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Strategy, mobile, mobile marketing, mobile commerce

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