This is a news flash on the changing of brands at the NYC Armory, the sanctuary of high school indoor athletics in the NYC Metro area.
The rumor mill has been busy the past week.
RunBlogRun has learned, from several keen observers of the sport, that the title sponsorship of The NYC Armor.y, one of the most important sanctuaries of sport in the country, is changing running brands. This is the way our sport evolves.
New Balance, the long-time sponsor of the Armory, has developed a lovely new, state-of-the-art facility on their Corporate Campus in Boston, Massachusetts.
For several years, many have wondered where the New Balance Grand Prix meeting, which was held at the Reggie Lewis Center for two-plus decades and then, during the pandemic, moved to the Ocean Breeze AC (on Staten Island), would move to the New Balance campus. We expect that to happen this coming year on February 4, 2023. The new track facility at New Balance will be fantastic, and we can not wait to visit the facility.
RunBlogRun understands that New Balance wants to focus on their new facility, so it will be leaving their relationship with the NYC Armory. The late Dr. Norb Sander negotiated the NYC Armory with the New Balance deal, so the deal has been going on for over a decade.
The NYC Armory has hosted 65-85 meets before the pandemic, with over 120,000 athletes running in the facility a year. For many young athletes, aged 14-18 have had their major sports life experiences in the Armory. The enthusiasm at the events is amazing. I remember going to an NB event in 2010, and New Balance did it with style.
The Millrose meetings are now established at the Armory.
All good things in brand marketing come to an end (well, except adidas in Boston).
New Balance will focus on their new facility in Boston and watch the NB Indoor move there as well as the NB Indoor Grand Prix.
What RunBlogRun has confirmed is that a new brand will support the NYC Armory, and that brand has a swoosh. New York has been a focus for the brand, and the Armory works into that plan. Watch the Nike Indoor move to the NYC Armory as well.
The good thing is that brands change, but thank God, other brands see the value of the great sanctuaries in sports.
At the end of the day, 1.6 million 14-18-year-olds compete in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track at the high school level in the fifty states. Brands that support high school athletics are building a conversation with their future consumers.
The truth is this. Running brands support the culture of running. It is good business. The brands that do best in running are the brands that stay involved in the sport. The funny thing is when brands start to falter in running, look at their support of the running culture. New Balance is not leaving the running culture; they are just evolving their support, and it will be good for the sport. In the vacuum that was created by NB’s move from The Armory, Nike came in and moved an event there.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.