The Runaway / Summary

Marathons fuel human potential

Marathons bring runners closer to their communities

Training for marathons is abject torture

The Runaway Pub

We helped New Balance activate its sponsorship of the Virgin Money London Marathon and show runners that the brand truly gets running.

We achieved this by tossing aside the marathon marketing playbook (Elite runners! Emotional stories of perseverance! Strangers hugging at the finish line!), and focusing not on celebrating runners' highs, but on alleviating their lows.

By talking to runners, we learned that while the London marathon — with its wacky, party-like atmosphere and community togetherness — is one big high, training for it during the UK's most brutal winter months is the lowest of the lows. Our mission was simple: find an authentic way to inject some fun, supportive "Londony" marathon spirit into the bleakness of training.

Leading up to the race, we opened a pub for runners where the only currency accepted was miles run. Our pub, The Runaway, punctuated an isolating experience with an authentic form of runner camaraderie, and showed runners that New Balance literally values their commitment and stands beside them all the way to the finish line.