San Francisco 49ers Manny Lawson Prepares to 'Run for Something Better' and Promote ING Bay to Breakers

April 30, 2008 San Francisco, CA Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

Linebacker Manny Lawson will swap his cleats and shoulder pads for a pair of running shoes and orange shoelaces on Thursday, May 15 as he partners with ING to support the “Run for Something Better” program in advance of the ING Bay to Breakers 12K, held on May 18.

Lawson, who was a first round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2006, knows the importance of running and physical fitness. In addition to succeeding on the football field, Lawson excelled in college track and field, winning long jump, triple jump and 60 meter indoor hurdle competitions. Staying healthy and fit also helped Lawson in the classroom, giving him the discipline to earn a degree in industrial engineering.

Lawson is currently active with the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, which supports programs for underserved children and funds youth activities that teach leadership and respect. By joining forces with ING, he hopes to encourage more young people to fight childhood obesity and get active as part of the national ING Run for Something Better program.

"As a professional athlete, I believe that leading a healthy lifestyle and staying in shape at a young age can lead to a long, healthy life," said Lawson. "By supporting the ING Run for Something Better program, I hope to encourage thousands of children in the Bay area to embrace physical activity and work towards setting their own personal fitness goals.”

In the U.S., childhood obesity has become a serious health epidemic. Educating kids about the importance of living an active life is the cornerstone of the ING Run for Something Better program. Since 2003, the youth running program has successfully engaged thousands of children, parents, teachers and coaches in cities across the country where ING sponsors long-distance running events. In San Francisco, the program is managed locally by the Staples Center Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to have Manny on our team as we celebrate the Run for Something Better program leading up to this year’s ING Bay to Breakers race. His involvement in San Francisco will help spread our positive message about youth running and fitness,” said Ann Glover, Chief Marketing Officer for ING Americas. “Manny is a role model who leads by example. His success on and off the field and his interest in helping children makes him the perfect ambassador for encouraging young people to stay healthy and fit.”

In advance of the May 18 race, Lawson will join about 1500 students from 15 middle schools in San Francisco’s Unified School District who are participating in the ING Run for Something Better kids’ 4K run. This event takes place at 9:30 a.m. on May 15 at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park. The run is the culmination of a 12-week training period, where each student logs approximately 157 miles during physical education classes and after-school programs.

Lawson will be wearing a pair of ING’s signature orange shoelaces as he supports the students during their run. These laces are given out to program supporters who make a charitable contribution to the ING Run for Something Better. ING’s orange laces are available at

Nationwide, kids participating in ING Run for Something Better-funded programs will surpass the one million mile mark when students in San Francisco complete their 4k run. ING has donated more than $1,000,000 to youth running initiatives across the country and is committed to donating a total of $2,000,000 through 2010. More than $575,000 in Run for Something Better funds will benefit middle school students in San Francisco within that period.

Press inquiries

Joe Loparco, ING Americas, 860-580-2677, cell: 860-462-6525 or

About Manny Lawson

Manny Lawson is a linebacker/defensive end in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers. He played his college career at North Carolina State and is widely considered one of the finest athletes ever to play for that university. In addition to football, Lawson competed on the Wolfpack track squad in the spring of 2003, winning long jump and triple jump competitions and posting the fastest time that season in the 60 meter indoor hurdles. Lawson was drafted by the 49ers in the 1st round (22nd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. In addition to succeeding on the field, Lawson also excelled in the classroom, graduating North Carolina State with a degree in industrial engineering. Lawson is currently active with the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, which supports development programs for underserved children and funds activities that teach youth leadership and respect.

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to over 75 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.

In the U.S. (NYSE: ING), the 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


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 is using its position as a sponsor of marathons worldwide as a platform for helping 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

About The ING Bay to Breakers 12K

Headed for its 97th year, the ING Bay to Breakers 12K is one of the world’s largest and oldest footraces, held annually in San Francisco. The name reflects the traditional course which takes tens of thousands of participants from the northeast end of the downtown area near The Embarcadero (the “Bay” side of the city) to the west end of the city and the “breakers” of Ocean Beach. The 7.46 mile (12 kilometer) race features world-class athletes in addition to costumed runners and ‘fun-loving’ folks out for a great day of running and walking through San Francisco.

For additional race information, updates on ING Footstock entertainment and Expo programming, check out, call the ING Bay to Breakers 12K hotline at 415-359-2800 or email