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Saucony app makes it easy for runners to support charities

Athletic footwear brand Saucony has launched a running application that not only enables users to keep track of where and how fast they run, but also lets them support the fight against childhood obesity with every step.

Run4Good is a full-featured running app that makes it easy for users to monitor their pace, time, calories burned and run and route history. What makes the app unique is that users can also have their run count towards monthly collective mileage goals that when reached trigger donations from corporate partners to various nonprofits.

?There are loads of feature-rich running apps and technologies provided by other running footwear and apparel companies,? said Dave Batista, executive creative director at Beam Interactive. ?None of them puts every mile you run to work towards a cause, so it's a critical differentiator for us.

?We also know that runners love to run for a cause and many runners don't mind a bit of healthy competition - think about all those charity 5K and 10K races,? he said. ?So we're taking a very clearly demonstrated periodic real-world behavior and extending it into a more frequent behavior with a very low barrier to entry - just turn the app on anytime you head out the door for a run.

?And as runners, we know it doesn't hurt to have the extra bit of motivation to get out there and run on a hot, rainy or snowy day.?

Beam is the agency that worked with Saucony on the project.

Charity races go mobile
Saucony?s goals for its first mobile app include delivering the core functionalities that runners most want in a simpler manner than other running apps that are available. The Run4Good app interface features only the functionalities that runners said they value and depend on.

Additionally, Saucony wanted to harness the spirit of charity races to enable runners to apply that spirit every time they run.

The GPS-enabled app features leader boards where users can challenge friends or form teams that compete to accumulate mileage toward the monthly goal.

When the collective mileage goals are reached, this triggers the doubling of cash donations from Saucony and its corporate partners to selected youth running programs.

The American Diabetes Association will receive the dollars raised via the app in September. Other nonprofits fighting childhood obesity will receive funds in coming months.

Making a difference
The app can be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store.

Saucony expects to update the app to offer runners rewards and discounts when they hit specific, predetermined milestones.

The platform will be made available to corporations so they can provide the app to their employees, promote wellness, support a good cause and get some fun competition going within the company or do corporate challenges against other companies.

?It's an opportunity for us to be a bit disruptive and maybe inspire some of those other brands to use their apps to make more of a difference in the world,? Mr. Batista said.

?What is the optimal app experience for us to provide?? he said. ?This is our first app and we view this as being an initial step down a path that may never end.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile  Marketer, New York