-Zeddie Watkins Little Will Run New York City Marathon with ASICS and the John Ritter Foundation Team-

ASICS America announced their dual partnership with The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health and internet sensation Zeddie Watkins Little - known as the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” - for the 2012 Support Your Marathoner Program. Watkins, who rose to fame after a photo of him running a recent 10K went viral, will be competing in the 2012 New York City Marathon to raise awareness for thoracic aortic disease, while simultaneously encouraging people to join ASICS’ innovative Support Your Marathoner program.

Now in its third year, Support Your Marathoner is a one-of-a-kind technology platform enabling friends and family to send personalized video messages directly to competitors running in the New York City Marathon. Utilizing “trigger chip" technology, a RFID tag that's attached to the marathoner's shoes, motivational messages are delivered course-side to the runners, at the right time, as they run past giant video screens placed along the course. Since its inception, tens of thousands of runners from 17 countries have utilized the program and created their own virtual cheering sections.

“As a first time marathoner, I'm going to need all the motivation and support I can get, which is why I'm so excited to partner with ASICS to promote Support Your Marathoner,” says Zeddie Watkins Little, the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy”. “The John Ritter Foundation inspired me to take on this race, and I hope every marathoner finds their own inspiration to tackle this challenge.”

The Support Your Marathoner website is now live, giving friends and family will have the opportunity to leave messages of support throughout the training journey – starting with the lottery and continuing through the Expo weekend. Competitors will be able to view these messages of encouragement to keep them motivated. This addition will also connect runners and supporters with one another and bring a sense of community to all competitors preparing for the 2012 marathon.

The program also harnesses the power of social media to allow supporters to share messages via Facebook and Twitter, and also offers runners the opportunity to use their own social media communities to ask for messages for support. After the race is completed, the Support Your Marathoner website gives runners their own personalized support gallery of messages, pictures and videos as mementos.

In support of the foundation, ASICS will supply shoes and gear for the entire team running the

Marathon for The John Ritter Foundation, and will work closely with the organization to promote the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” and his mission in the 2012 New York City Marathon.

“We are thrilled to launch our partnership with The John Ritter Foundation and the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” for the 2012 Support Your Marathoner program,” commented ASICS’ Director of Marketing Communications Shannon Scott. “ASICS is committed to giving marathon runners everything they need to “stop at never” and achieve their own personal bests, and this year we are excited to also pay it forward by partnering with such a meaningful foundation."

Those selected to compete in the 2012 New York City Marathon can join the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” by using their marathon registration numbers to sign up for Support Your Marathoner on-line at www.supportyourmarathoner.com. Once registered, runners can use their Facebook and Twitter pages to ask friends and family to record a support video for inspiration during the race.

For more information on the Crowdrise charity page for the John Ritter Foundation, please visit www.crowdrise.com/johnritterfoundation. The Team Ritter New York City Marathon 2012 page can be found here www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/johnritterfoundation.

Shannon Scott
ASICS Marketing Communications

Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes, as well as, other athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.asics.com.


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