Adidas Taps Influencers for a Unique Run Through the Streets of New York

Stops included a cabaret club and museum rooftop

Headshot of Katie Richards

In preparation for the New York City Marathon this weekend, Adidas gathered a team of social media-savvy athletes to race through New York promoting its Energy Running movement and the Energy Boost line. The 5K run, which tapped influencers—including running coach Robin Arzon, MC Barao and dancer Ally Love—took participants on a unique 3.1-mile route through the city after sunset.

"We took the trail-runner mentality to the streets, where nothing is an obstacle but part of the unexpected and welcomed journey," Ashley Czarnowski, senior manager, U.S. running brand communications for Adidas told Adweek.

The 5K kicked off at the Adidas Sport Performance store in SoHo, where runners suited up in the latest Adidas gear, including the brand's self-proclaimed "best running shoe ever," the Ultra Boost.

The first stop was the New Museum on Manhattan's Lower East Side, where the runners climbed seven flights of stairs to the museum's Skyroom for a view of the city skyline. Other pit stops included a cabaret-style club, running onstage with a Bruce Springsteen cover band performing "Born to Run" and dashing through an upscale Italian restaurant for a mocktail. 

"Whether you're running the marathon, training to qualify next year or just getting into running, our mission was to craft an activation where runners could experience the city from a new and unique perspective," Czarnowski said. "Energy Running is all about creating your own path and drawing energy from your surroundings, so New York City is the perfect place for this experience."

Influencers selected for the event needed to embody the Adidas brand with their own persona and style, be creative on social media, and have a substantial following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. Consumers could follow their favorite participants on social media throughout the 3.1 miles.

"Built-in social media moments throughout the course ensured consumers could watch participants' experiences in real time through a variety of artistic lenses, copy and creative," Czarnowski added.  

Portland-based agency The Great Society assisted with the creative concept for the stunt, while Brooklyn-based Picture Farm aided with production. 

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.