Westin Associates: New Balance Gear Lending Program

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  • Thousands of Westin Associates Lace Up Their Running Shoes for a Good Cause
  • Westin and New Balance Donate More than 15,000 Pairs of Shoes to Soles4Souls

STAMFORD, Conn. (November 1, 2012) – Today, Westin Hotels & Resorts kicks off the 10 week celebration of the global roll-out of the brand’s successful gear lending program with New Balance.  Following a successful pilot program, the innovative, exclusive product loan program is now available to guests at all 190 Westin hotels worldwide, empowering more travelers to stay healthy and fit on the road.  In celebration, Westin and New Balance associates around the world will participate in 5k runs and walks to benefit Soles4Souls.  From November 1st, 2012 to January 12th, 2013, thousands of associates at close to 75 participating Westin properties will run over 9,600 km (more than the land mass around the world), reinforcing Westin’s ongoing commitment to making fitness convenient for travelers.
From Start to Finish, Westin Is Dedicated to Making Fitness Convenient for Travelers

Today, Westin kicks off the10 week celebration of the New Balance gear lending global launch with 5k walks and runs in dozens of cities around the world including Boston, Munich, Toronto, San Francisco, Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok and Mumbai.  These runs will begin at Westin hotels in each area and follow that property’s designated RunWESTIN™ 5k running map, taking associates on a scenic tour of iconic landmarks in their cities.  Select hotels will also have donation stations where associates, guests and locals can drop off gently used or new footwear which Westin will collect and donate to Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes to adults and children in need around the world.  Upon the completion of the global runs, Westin and New Balance will donate more than 15,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls on behalf of all participating hotels.      
“We are excited to celebrate the global launch of the New Balance gear lending program by encouraging our associates to put on their running shoes for a good cause,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts.  “The brand’s mission is to enable our guests to pursue their well-being when on the road, and our partnership with New Balance makes not only packing much easier but provides a solution for those travelers who forgot their gear or decide to work out last-minute.”
“Today’s travelers are committed to staying healthy and fit while they’re away from home and convenient access to the proper athletic equipment and programming is vital to making this happen,” said Hilary Keates, director of global marketing and brand management for New Balance. “New Balance is excited to expand its partnership with Westin to provide their health and fitness-minded guests, worldwide, with footwear, apparel, accessories and programming for an overall enhanced experience.”
Westin Celebrates Most Successful Pilot Program in the Brand’s History

The decision to expand the gear lending program with New Balance globally was driven by the unprecedented positive feedback from users of the pilot program, which launched in 10 target markets in 2010.  Over two-thirds of surveyed guests stated that they would be more likely to return to a Westin because of the program.  Guests also rated the gym in the top five amenities they look for in a hotel and are more likely to choose to work out with the New Balance program in place.  This innovative program eliminates the hassle of packing gear, which surveyed guests listed as a key barrier to working out while traveling.
No Room for Sneakers in Your Luggage?  No Worries, Pack Light and Stay Fit with Westin

For just $5, guests can borrow running shoes with disposable insoles, as well as a variety of men’s and women’s New Balance apparel including shorts, shirts and socks for men and shorts, capri pants, shirts, sports bras and socks for women.
Westin guests will also benefit from travel-specific fitness content provided by New Balance.  New Balance Fitness Ambassador and Exercise TV celebrity trainer Holly Perkins developed exclusive in-room fitness and equipment-free content that includes stretching and strengthening workouts, cardio and yoga.  The program includes “Wellness in Travel” tips from Perkins on nutrition and creative ways to combat jet lag and healthy living.  In addition, New Balance will continue to work with individual Westin properties to enhance the current 4.8km and 8km local area running maps.  As part of the partnership, participating properties will provide guests traveling for a major athletic event, such as a marathon, with wellness amenities, including turn-down gifts with “performance/fuel” goodies for the race and “good luck” wake-up calls.
For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com, Facebook or follow Westin on Twitter.