On Jan. 9, just in time for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, New Balance and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced a multi-year corporate alliance. The deal not only makes New Balance the “official running shoe” for runDisney events but includes Disney limited-edition footwear, running and healthy-lifestyle initiatives and co-branding opportunities.
New Balance, with its reputation for creating athletic footwear and running shoes, joins Disney’s growing reputation as a vacation destination for runners, athletes and those looking to lead an active lifestyle.
In addition to being the official running shoe for runDisney races, New Balance becomes the "official athletic shoe" of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The brand will also be “the official baseball shoe” for amateur baseball events at the Sports Complex.
New Balance will also jump into the Disney Sports action. It becomes the title sponsor of the track & field facility at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home of the annual Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic and Disney’s Track & Field Spring Training for high school and collegiate teams.
The alliance plans to promote Disney as an active, healthy vacation destination for guests in addition to runDisney and Disney Sports. Future plans include creating maps for Walt Disney World Resort’s running trails and fitness programs for Disney resort guests who like to get sweaty…on purpose.
“New Balance and Disney share a commitment to quality and innovation,” says Rob DeMartini, President and CEO of New Balance in a press statement. “We are proud to work with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts to showcase New Balance’s brand excellence and the benefits of an active lifestyle.”
“Our relationship with New Balance complements our company’s efforts to provide healthy options for families during their Disney vacation,” said George Aguel, senior vice president, Disney Corporate Alliances. “We are excited about this new agreement and look forward to working with New Balance.”
New Balance creates runDisney shoes for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse fans
To celebrate the alliance in high style, New Balance created a pair each of men’s and women’s limited-edition kicks. New Balance has designed a runDisney 860v3 running shoe that evokes two favorite Disney characters – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
The Mickey shoe features the iconic mouse symbol on a red, black and yellow shoe, while the Minnie shoe was inspired by the female mouse's polka-dot dress and features red, white and yellow colors. The shoes are clearly identified as runDisney, as that name is prominent on the shoes' tongue and sides.
The runDisney 860v3 are available for purchase at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo from January 10 – 12. Prices for the limited-edition shoes at Thursday’s expo were in line with other New Balance footwear. The expo, which started today, is part of the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and runDisney's biggest race weekend.
The shoes will also be available at future runDisney Health & Fitness Expos and special events created jointly by New Balance and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, as well as branded pop-up shops located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
For more information on Disney races, see this article: Running and walking Walt Disney World and Disneyland: 2013 – 2014 race schedule.