New Balance "Runlock" wins Best International Campaign

New Balance is one of the world’s top athletic brands. They aim to aid athletes in their pursuits, whether that means helping professional athletes set records and win medals, or propelling everyday athletes to live a more healthy and active lifestyle. 

In January 2023, New Balance worked with Mediahub London to get people out of the January blues, by moving and unlocking rewards at the same time, using Strava’s Sponsored Challenges as the centrepiece of the project. The campaign was a huge success, and was named Best International Campaign in Adweek's Media Plan of the Year.

Designed to help folks get motivation to go outside, Runlock offered money-can’t-buy rewards, including a trip of a lifetime to the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon.

Reaching active people

The challenge performed very well, with around 250,000 participants in 180 countries taking part, significant brand lift in many markets, and 83,500 reward clicks, meaning targeted website clicks – all from engaged active people.

To maximise impact, the brand weaved in OOH, digital, social and display, featuring eye-catching creative to emphasise unlocking value through movement.

@juliette_dennyy Come with us on the #runlock launch with @newbalance and Sportsshoes 🏃🏽‍♀️✨ This event was all about the Runlock Challenge, where rewards come to those who run! We were lucky enough to try out some of the very latest New Balance kit and we put everything to the test on some muddy trails and country lanes around the @nomadicdinners base as we searched out the elusive red lockers. Such an exciting day with so many awesome people, thanks so much to the team for hosting us! If you want to get involved (and potentially win a place in the New York marathon!) head on over to New Balance’s page on @strava and join the challenge: #runningchallenge #trailrunning #runoutdoors #runhappy #runwithfriends #winterrunning #runners #freshfoam #newbalance #sportsshoes #runningshoes #trailrunningshoes #running #runningtiktok #hierros ♬ Miss You - Oliver Tree & Robin Schulz

Runlock isn’t New Balance’s first inventive use of Sponsored Challenges. In fact, some of our most eye catching campaigns have been with the footwear brand, including the Breakfaster challenge – where runners could exchange KMs run for breakfast at The Runstaurant popup, as well as product discounts on New Balance’s website.

More Challenges, More Awards

As they allow brands to engage audiences in unprecedented ways, together with using real life data to power their other channels, Sponsored Challenges are also increasingly playing a role in award-winning campaigns.

  • The North Face and PHD Global won the Chair Award and Media Planning or Buying from The Drum in 2022 for their use of multichannel promotion and engagement, with a Strava Challenge at the centre.
  • Samsung Galaxy UK and RAPP won the 2022 DMA Out of Home award for innovative use of Strava data in their DOOH campaigns around their Strava Challenge

Interested in running your own Challenge?

Great brands know the value of Strava in reaching an active audience. Read our comprehensive guide on how to get started with Sponsored Challenges.

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