Celebrating the world’s biggest running event by heroing the iconic city and its runners

In 2017 New Balance committed to a 10 year sponsorship agreement with New York Road Runners to become the official athletic footwear and apparel company of a slew of New York based running events, including TCS New York Marathon. New Balance wanted to make a powerful impression on runners and the host city’s running culture. The brand wasn’t interested in simply seeing its logo in lights, it wanted to create meaningful impact and show the running community that New Balance is one of their own.

Our work spanned a complete brand strategy, experiential design, custom technology development, and execution, as well as digital and content production for the lead-up and day-of marathon events.

Getting to the Starting Line

As a title sponsor of the Marathon, New Balance engaged Sub Rosa to design, build, and operate a 40,000 sq. ft. brand and retail experience at New York’s Jacob Javits Center. A key location for the marathon, the Javits Center is where every runner must pass through to pick up their registration.

More than just a moment for retail, the pre-race expo Marathon experience culminated months of preparation and kicked off Marathon weekend. It also served as a pinnacle moment for the All Roads Lead to NYC brand campaign and exclusive product showcases.


The execution spanned four days, including a variety of interactive programming and retail opportunities for more than 50,000 runners and supporters who passed through the space.

The retail experience exceeded expectations and allowed the brand to surpass their stretch sales goal while never letting check out times exceed more than 3 minutes.

We Run New York

In partnership with Strava, we created the New Balance Run Club – a series of events designed to capture the attention of runners and fitness fans alike. With an off-the-grid experience focused on the spirit and lifestyle of running, the experience took place during the three days leading up to the race in Sub Rosa’s gallery in New York’s West Village. The Run Club functioned as a mixed-use space designed with comfort, function, and flexibility in mind while hosting influencers for a variety of programming, workshops, and of course, runs.

Race Day

The penultimate mile of a marathon can be a very lonely and daunting place. Runners are both physically and emotionally shattered, in desperate need of a spark to help them break through the final threshold. Sub Rosa pinpointed this exact moment on the course to create an experience to connect with runners and supporters alike.

The Charge Up Wall

Placed in the Bronx at the 20th mile of the TCS NYC Marathon, the Charge-up Wall was a scalable interactive experience that uses OpenCV technology to visualize motion through a digital environment. Interactive particles were propelled by the velocity of upwards of 50,000 runners and fans while creating a bold expression of movement and momentum in real-time.

The effect that runners had on the digital wall fluctuated in real-time, capitalizing on both the individual and collective momentum generated at any one point during the race.


Crossing the Finish Line

The New Balance sponsorship was an overwhelming success engaging with every runner in the marathon, breaking sales goals, while simultaneously connecting with key influencers throughout the running community.

50,000+ Guest Interactions
6,000+ MYNB Reward sign ups
3 min. Max Check Out Time