Hold the phone. If you know me, you know I don’t run unless something scary is chasing me, yet this news that Disney and New Balance are teaming up for a multi-year strategic alliance today that includes exclusive Mickey & Minnie themed running shoes, running-specific initiatives, and co-branding opportunities has me considering getting off the couch for a jog. New Balance is pretty much the only shoe that fits my foot, so this is, pardon the pun, a perfect fit for me.
This exciting alliance will bring New Balance’s innovative, design-forward athletic footwear to the leading vacation destination in the world, in particular Disney’s thriving sports business. As part of the collaboration, New Balance becomes the official athletic shoe of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. New Balance also becomes the official running shoe for runDisney race weekends and the official baseball shoe of amateur baseball events at the Sports Complex.
In addition, New Balance also 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. Future initiatives include the creation of maps for the running trails at Walt Disney World Resort and fitness programs for Disney resort guests interested in pursuing healthy options.
“New Balance and Disney share a commitment to quality and innovation,” says Rob DeMartini, President and CEO of New Balance. “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.”
To commemorate this alliance, New Balance created a men’s and women’s limited edition runDisney 860v3 running shoe that captures the spirit of two favorite Disney characters – Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. The limited edition runDisney 860v3 will be available for purchase at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo from January 10-12, future runDisney Health & Fitness Expos, special events created jointly by New Balance and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts as well as branded pop-up shops located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
So what do you think about the shoes? Will you be adding a pair to your closet?