In today’s society, we measure business success by looking at KPIs. As athletes, we measure our personal best by looking at our achievements against the goals we set up. What happens when you decide to go beyond business and personal KPIs to do something for a bigger cause? This is what I wanted to find out in conversation with Andre Maestrini, General Manager of adidas Running and Florian Gschwandtner, CEO and co-founder of Runtastic, two men who share one passion – running. While they are in the business of running every day, during the World Oceans Week, they will still run but this time for the oceans.

Man running in nature; adidas-runtastic-parley-running-for-the-oceans-Florian-Gschwandtner
Florian Gschwandtner: This June I’ll be running to raise awareness of ocean pollution.
Feet in running shoes close-up; adidas-runtastic-parley-boost-running-for-the-oceans-Florian-Gschwandtner
Joining forces with adidas and partner Parley for the Oceans ensures we get more runners pulling on their trainers for a very good cause.
Runner taking a break; adidas-runtastic-parley-running-for-the-oceans-pausing-Florian-Gschwandtner
We want to capture people’s attention and are excited to do so in the Runtastic digital space.
Male runner drinking out of a water bottle after workout; adidas-runtastic-parley-running-for-the-oceans-pausing-drinking-bottle-Florian-Gschwandtner
The time is now to act against ocean pollution and keep our water clean.
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Where did the idea of organizing the ‘Run for the Oceans’ come from?

Florian:

When we joined the adidas family, it didn’t take us long to learn first-hand how passionate and committed adidas is to eco-innovation. It was clear that adidas Executive Board Member, Eric Liedtke and his team are taking the problem of marine pollution and their partnership with Parley for the Oceans really seriously and this passion inspired us. We wanted to be a part of it – and the idea was born to use our App to create a global movement for the oceans.

Andre:

When Runtastic came to us with the idea to harness the power of runners around the globe and create a digital run through the app, we didn’t think twice. With our partner, Parley for the Oceans, we decided to activate our global running community to raise awareness about the fragility of the oceans and their importance for mankind. World Oceans Week is the perfect platform.

The idea to run for a cause is not new; it is part of what we stand for at adidas Running: in partnership with the AKTIV foundation, we run against cancer, with 261 Fearless, we run to support women’s empowerment. And now with Run for the Oceans we can go even further, with the digital component that can help us harness the power of runners where ever they are, literally. We believe in the power of sport.

Man in running outfit stretching in the stadium; parley-running-for-the-oceans-preparation-stretching-Adi-Dassler-Stadium-André-Maestrini-adidas-Running-GM
Andre Maestrini: Leading the running business at adidas means I can harness the power of highly engaged community.
Man in running outfit stretching in the stadium; parley-running-for-the-oceans-preparation-stretching-Adi-Dassler-Stadium-André-Maestrini-adidas-Running-GM
I’m encouraging all our runners to stretch themselves and clock up miles in our adidas x Parley Run for the Oceans.
adidasRunning shoes UltraBOOST close up on running track; parley-running-for-the-oceans-boost-shoes-André-Maestrini-adidas-Running-GM
Combining eco-innovation and sports is a key part of our journey to highlight the problem of ocean pollution.
Man running on running track in stadium; parley-running-for-the-oceans-run-tracks-Adi-Dassler-Stadium-André-Maestrini-adidas-Running-GM
Without our oceans there will be no air, no life and therefore no running. We can't let that happen.
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What are you each bringing to this this movement?

Florian:

Exactly, from our side the Runtastic team brings a passion for fitness, health and community to this movement.

We want to capture people’s attention, get them passionate about improving the health of the oceans and convince them to hit the streets (together) to show the world that we do care and we’re ready and willing to be a part of the solution.

A variety of team members at Runtastic helped to create and refine the concept together with our adidas and Parley counterparts and now manage our contributions to the project day-by-day.

adidas’ core belief is that through sport, we have the power to change lives. Do you believe the Run for the Oceans can indeed change lives?

Andre:

Running can help people to make a difference in their personal lives by being more active, boost their self-confidence by achieving personal goals and increase their sense of belonging when they are part of a running community.

What the Run for the Oceans does on top of this is encourage participation in a movement that can impact their own environment, encourage them to act against ocean plastic pollution and help them make a difference in their world. If there are no oceans, there’s no air, no life and certainly no running.

Florian:

If we didn’t have this belief, we wouldn’t be investing time and resources into the effort! This is the first year of Run for the Oceans, where we can learn what really inspires people (or not). Who knows where it will take us in the years to come…

Today’s most valuable resource is time and that’s why we want folks to take a few minutes between June 5-11 and run for a cause that matters and impacts us all – whether we see the problem or not.

How important is technology in harnessing people’s sense of responsibility and bringing a global community together for a greater cause?

Andre:

Digital today is in the fabric of people’s everyday life. Leveraging technology allows us to have a global reach and allows people participate wherever they live. Inviting our consumers to join the cause and act responsibly is how we open source it and digital is the vehicle to make it happen.

Florian:

I’m not sure if technology plays a role in speaking to people’s sense of responsibility, but it certainly provides a logical avenue of getting into contact with them and bringing people together around a common cause.

That’s where our digital solutions and global reach, which make the digital run possible, are a game changer. In a perfect world, a person who chooses to run for the oceans on their own will feel anything but alone because he or she knows that the movement is much bigger.

Will you be running for the oceans? Let us know in the comments below.

RUN FOR THE OCEANS JUNE 5 - 11

We’re all in this together. Register for the Digital Run and join us wherever you are in the world. You’ll be part of an international movement of runners taking action for the oceans, one kilometer/mile at a time.

Register
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by Phuong 02.06.2017
Hooray!!! Run for the Oceans! For sure with 5km per morning!
Love the world and it will love us too. Have fun and run run run...
Many thanks Andre and Florian for an meaningful event.
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