ING Promotes Physical and Fiscal Fitness During ING New York City Marathon 2008
Olympic gold medalists Brandi Chastain and Kerri Strug support youth fitness and the ING Run for Something Better program, New ING Retirement Run Series guides runners on the path to their financial futures
Global financial services leader ING celebrates its sixth year as title sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon, which takes place Sunday, November 2. In addition to painting the Big Apple “Orange” with on-course signage, branding and signature Cheer Zones, the company has been focusing its 2008 sponsorship efforts on two important themes: encouraging young people to get physically fit and helping Americans become more fiscally fit.
Youth Fitness: The ING Run for Something Better
Former soccer star Brandi Chastain and former gymnastics sensation Kerri Strug have partnered with ING to run this year’s marathon. In doing so, they will be serving as ambassadors for the ING Run for Something Better, a national campaign that promotes youth fitness and provides funding for free community and school-based running programs across the country.
|As title sponsor to a number of premier running events in the U.S., ING, in conjunction with New York Road Runners, developed the ING Run for Something Better in 2003 as a way to introduce kids to the benefits of exercise, fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. |
Since then, over 30,000 children have participated in ING Run for Something Better-funded programs in cities where ING sponsors races. Young people in these programs have reached a milestone of running more than one million miles.
Currently, the ING Run for Something Better has provided more than $1,500,000 to organizations that support running and fitness initiatives -- and has committed over $2,000,000 through 2010. In New York City, funding goes to successful programs organized by the New York Road Runners Foundation and the City Parks Foundation.
“Brandi and Kerri are two fantastic athletes who have ‘gone for the gold’ in their lives. We’re thrilled that they will now ‘go for the orange’ in this year’s ING New York City Marathon,” said Ann Glover, chief marketing officer for ING in the Americas. “Both women set incredibly high goals for themselves and worked hard to achieve them. This is exactly what the ING Run for Something Better program is all about. ING is excited to have their support as we spread our positive message about youth running and fitness.”
During the marathon, Chastain and Strug -- both gold medal Olympic champions -- will wear a pair of ING’s orange shoelaces. These laces are given to anyone who makes a charitable donation of $10 or more to the ING Run for Something Better cause. The two athletes will also raise money for the program through fundraising websites where fans can go to contribute. These websites can be accessed at: www.orangelaces.com/nyc.
"As an elite soccer player, I learned the value of physical fitness early on in life." said Chastain. "By supporting the ING Run for Something Better, I hope to encourage thousands of children to embrace physical activity and create their own personal fitness goals.”
"Competing as a world-class gymnast demanded a healthy lifestyle and understanding the importance of exercise and proper nutrition,” noted Strug. “I’m excited to be partnering with the ING Run for Something Better so that other kids can learn these same values.”
Financial Preparedness: ING Retirement Run Series
Preparing Americans for retirement and their financial futures is a cornerstone of ING’s business. This year, in conjunction with its sponsorship of the marathon, ING also collaborated with race partner New York Road Runners to create the ING Retirement Run Series.
This series served as an enhancement for registered marathon runners who were 45 years or older. It was made available to 300 runners on a first come, first serve basis, who were invited to sign-up for complimentary entry into two ING New York City Marathon Long Training Runs in Central Park (Aug 2 and Sept 13), the 18-mile ING New York City Marathon Tune Up Race (Sept 28), and a VIP brunch after the Tune Up race at Tavern on the Green.
|The brunch featured keynote presentations from ESPN commentator Kenny Mayne, running pioneer Kathrine Switzer and CEO & President of New York Road Runners Mary Wittenberg. Mayne and Switzer provided insights into their own dynamic careers and the importance of financial planning, while Wittenberg offered runners some last minute tips for the race. ING financial advisors were also on site to help attendees learn more about retirement planning, including knowing their "Retirement Number," the subject of ING’s latest integrated marketing campaign. For information on the campaign and how to calculate your own retirement number, visit www.ingyournumber.com.|
Joe Loparci, ING Americas, 860-580-2677, or 860-462-6525, or firstname.lastname@example.org
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 130,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offer a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com.
About the ING Run for Something Better
The ING Run for Something Better is a fundraising campaign that supports community and school-based youth running programs. Linked to ING’s long-distance race sponsorships, the program was created to introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle that prevents conditions such as childhood obesity. In today’s world of poor nutrition and less-active lifestyles – which may contribute to childhood obesity – ING has been using its position as a sponsor of marathons to help kids get fit through free school-based running programs. ING’s goal is to invest in the health of American children by donating $2 million to running programs to get 500,000 kids running by 2010. ING has also created a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contribution. When someone donates $10 or more to the ING Run for Something Better, ING will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are “tied” to supporting kids’ fitness. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of orange laces go to the ING Run for Something Better fitness programs. For more information about the orange laces, go to www.orangelaces.com.
About Brandi Chastain
Brandi Chastain is a former soccer player and most recently served as a soccer analyst for NBC’s Olympic broadcast coverage. She played for the U.S. women’s national soccer team from 1991-2004. Chastain became a household name in 1999 after her penalty shootout kick helped the U.S. beat China in the final game of the Women’s World Cup. She participated in the Women’s United Soccer Association from its formation in 2001 until its suspension in 2003. Chastain is actively serving the San Francisco community. In 2005, she along with Julie Foudy and Marlene Bjornsrud founded the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI), a public benefit, non-profit corporation with a mission to create programs and partnerships through which women athletes bring health, hope and wholeness to our community.
About Kerri Strug
Kerri Strug is a former U.S. women’s gymnast. She was a member of the Magnificent Seven from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. She is remembered for performing the vault despite having seriously injured her ankle. She completed her second and final vault on a sprained ankle to secure the first ever Olympic gold medal for the United States women's gymnastics team. This courageous and heroic moment was captured in countless media images and broadcast around the world, and secured her place in Olympic and sports history. Following her gymnastics career Strug attended UCLA and Stanford. Today, Strug is an active distance runner, having completed marathons in Houston and Boston.
About New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008. NYRR is dedicated to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and other fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together with our magazine and website support and promote professional and recreational running. A staff of more than 100, assisted by thousands of volunteers, stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR’s home base in New York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have given many of its events iconic status, attracting the world’s top professional runners. Our youth programs provide running to 30,000 schoolchildren in New York City and around the country who would otherwise have few or no fitness opportunities. For more information visit www.nyrr.org.
About the ING New York City Marathon
The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing nearly 105,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the more than $600,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and more than 300 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the some 750,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information visit www.ingnycmarathon.org.