Dec 22, 2009 at 09:41 PM
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New Balance Clears A Path in Boston

$10,000 may seem like a small sum for a sponsorship expense, but New Balance is getting plenty of publicity from its plan to help clear snow from the Charles River running paths leading up to the Boston Marathon. New Balance today announced it was partnering with Boston's Department of Conservation and Recreation to clear a 17-plus-mile Charles River path, from the Museum of Science in Boston to Watertown, immediately following snowstorms this Winter.

The shoe manufacturer hopes that the $10,000 minimum pledge will help runners stay on course with their running routines, even in the dead of Winter.

“New Balance has always been appreciative of the DCR’s efforts to keep the Charles River clear for recreation, and we want to ensure that level of performance continues even given the current economic climate,” DeMartini said in a statement. “Outdoor recreation is vital this time of year with so many athletes training for the Boston Marathon. We want to help provide area fitness enthusiasts, both serious and casual, the best terrain along the Charles River.”

Yet another example of brands creatively using government cutbacks as an opportunity to build out clever and publicity generating private-public partnerships. The DCR's budget has been slashed 20% this year, according to the Boston Herald.