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ASICS promotes charity through the Runkeeper app

Sport performance company ASICS America supported Girls on the Run International with an innovative donation campaign channeled through fitness tracking application Runkeeper. 

The company?s ASICS Extra Mile campaign bringing people with disparate backgrounds together for a common cause to generate a total donation of over $1.5 million worth of shoes through an array of charitable outlets, including a retail incentive, a location-based activation and the aforementioned partnership with Runkeeper. The success of the partnership has not just benefitted Girls on the Run?it may have sweetened the relationship between the sportswear company and the app it was using, a relationship already codified through the former's acquisition of the latter.

?Campaigns like these, that provide charitable incentive for activities that consumers already engage in, are effective,? said James McNally, director of digital strategy at TDT, New York. ?I expect this type of integrated or tied-in charity is the direction that organizations, brands, and charities will continue to go in across a range of media types.?

Girls on the Run
During the Extra Mile campaign, which ran from October 13 until November 30, ASICS invited athletes of all levels to go the extra mile for a good cause and offered a number of ways to engage with the brand to make a positive impact. Through the Runkeeper app, a pair of ASICS shoes was pledged to be donated to Girls on the Run for all successful completions of the Runkeeper ASICS Extra Mile Challenge?a four-mile run?one mile over the average Runkeeper activity distance.

ASICS also donated a pair for shoes for all those who participated in the Extra Mile activation in Columbus Circle in New York, and for those purchasing $100.00 worth of ASICS product at participating retail stores.

The campaign marks another example of brands attempting to integrate any sort of initiative?charitable or not?to the use of third-party apps. The results are undeniable, but experts have some caveats for those looking to adopt the strategy:

?The question comes down to whether it's an app consumers already use,? Mr. McNally said. ?Apps continue to be the best option for utility type use cases (such as tracking your daily run), but good luck trying to get consumers to install and keep a new app just for the purpose of donating. 

?So yes, I would expect to see more charitable tie-ins and campaigns that call for donations within utility/shopping apps that consumers already use.?

ASICS is the National Footwear Partner of Girls on the Run, a physical activity-based positive youth development program, serving girls in third to eighth grade nationwide.

Charity on apps
Brands do not tend to ignore the altruism of the holiday season, and it is difficult for a charitable partnership to stand out within an especially crowded space, which is why brands tend to bring out their best creative this time of year.

In support of its Shopathon Red holiday promotion, AIDS-awareness brand Red has provided us with the music video we did not know we needed: a parody of Kanye West?s controversial music video for Famous, starring exclusively dogs (see story). 

And PepsiCo is giving users? old social media posts that originally received no attention a chance to be seen, while also giving to charity and leveraging celebrity meet-and-greets (see story). 

?By aligning with fitness activities that users are ostensibly already taking part in, Asics doesn't need to stand out above the overwhelming volume of charity-focused corporate window dressing that takes place around the holidays across all media,? Mr. McNally said. ?Instead, it can ideally be a standout in the much smaller Runkeeper arena.?