Can a Little Running Make Big Waves for Our Oceans?
The how and why behind adidas x Parley Run for the Oceans, the first global initiative harnessing the power of sport to raise awareness about the fragility of our oceans.
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 André Maestrini, General Manager of adidas’ Sports Business Units 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 take their running to another level by lacing up to preserve the largest bodies of water on Earth – our oceans.
Where did the idea of organizing the ‘Run for the Oceans’ come from?
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. The idea was born to use our app to create a global movement for the oceans.
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: 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.
What are you each bringing to this this movement?
Exactly, from our side the Runtastic team brings a passion for fitness, health and community to this movement.
Together, a variety of team members at Runtastic helped to create and refine the concept with our adidas and Parley counterparts.
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?
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.
If there are no oceans, there’s no air, no life and certainly no running.
If we didn’t have this belief, we wouldn’t be investing time and resources into the effort! These are the early years 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…
How important is technology in harnessing people’s sense of responsibility and bringing a global community together for a greater cause?
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.
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. The kilometres count towards the total efforts and contributions of the greater Run for the Oceans community.”Florian Gschwandtner
Love the world and it will love us too. Have fun and run run run...
Many thanks Andre and Florian for an meaningful event.