With the New York Marathon rapidly approaching, the marketing tie-ins are already beginning. Icebreaker of New Zealand, a maker of natural fiber running wear, is staging a week-long promotion in New York City with a live window display of a seamstress turning petroleum-based synthetic clothing into reusable running shoe bags.
"With all the excitement around the marathon and the overall movement toward green purchasing, we're making a push for buying natural apparel," Molly King, communications manager for Icebreaker, tells Marketing Daily. "We think a synthetic shirt is better used as a bag than on your back."
Through the promotion (at Paragon Sports in Union Square), marathoners and aspiring marathoners can have a t-shirt made from synthetic materials turned into a reusable bag, and receive a 26.2% (calibrated as the same distance as a marathon) discount on an Icebreaker purchase and a pair of the company's socks for free, King says.
The promotion is intended to capitalize on the momentum building up to the marathon, which takes place on Nov. 1. The window display features a seamstress -- wearing Icebreaker clothing -- who will spend eight hours a day for the next week turning T-shirts into the bags, King says. In its first day on Monday, the promotion was already gathering interest from the foot traffic around the store. "It creates a great visual," she says. "People are asking questions. They're reading the signs, and they're intrigued."
The promotion was born out of a similar idea staged in the company's U.S. headquarters city of Portland, Ore., which encouraged people to turn in cotton shirts in favor of the Icebreaker shirts, King says. The Icebreaker shirts are made of 100% Merino wool, which comes from specially bred sheep, doesn't itch and is machine washable. The clothing also comes with a "Baacode" (get it?, say it out loud), to allow consumers to trace the product's origins and sustainability pedigree.