Continuation of the Champion Innovation Lab
Champion Athleticwear, the official performance apparel of Disney's Wide World of Sports, announces the continuation of the Champion Innovation Lab at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by CIGNA January 7 – 10, 2010.
The Champion Innovation Lab underscores the brand's heritage in competitive sports while bringing to life its "How You Play" mantra through the experiences of real, everyday athletes. This year, the 2010 Innovation Lab works with nearly half of the "Perfect 17," those who have participated in the Disney Marathon Weekend since its inception 17 years ago, as well as runners, race-walkers and wheelchair athletes from all skill levels, to test Champion Athleticwear.
“True to the Champion brand, we are able to develop great performance apparel by getting real feedback from everyday athletes who participate in our Innovation Lab,” said Claire Powell, Director Champion Brand Marketing. “We are excited to bring the program back to the Disney Marathon Weekend for a third year to see how the athletes have responded to our products.”
Disney Sports Area Manager, Kathleen Duran returns the sentiment. “The Disney Marathon Weekend is comprised of events that are defined by fun competition, much like the Champion brand. We are thrilled to have some of the “Perfect 17” runners participate in the Champion Innovation Lab program during the Disney Marathon weekend.”
Participants are given a variety of Champion performance apparel and, starting in September 2009, asked to catalogue their experiences in a Training Log and share real-time insights with the Champion New York Design Team and Champion Athleticwear Consumer Research. The runners receive apparel from the brand's popular Double Dry line featuring wicking technology, compression tanks and briefs and athleticwear from the Seamless product line. Questions include pace, weather, route (e.g., trail, street, treadmill), comfort, fit and washing machine care. Runners will also be outfitted in Champion apparel for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend events and will be announced as Champion Innovation Lab participants when crossing the finish line.
"I look forward to the Disney Marathon Weekend every year as well as participating in the Champion Innovation Lab. It's exciting to test out their new products and important to me as an athlete that they are listening to the feedback I have to share," said Dee Dean, marathon runner and Champion Innovation Lab participant.
“Perfect 17” runner and Champion Innovation Lab participant Seth Elsheimer agrees. “It's refreshing to see a brand that has stayed focused on regular, everyday athletes who are competitive as well as those who just want to have a good time and be active.”
The two-way dialogue generated by the Champion Innovation Lab has proved to be a critical in keeping the brand grounded in its roots of delivering top performance athleticwear for the everyday athlete.
See the Champion Innovation Lab athletes take on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, January 9th and the full marathon on Sunday, January 10th which will take runners through all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks starting at Epcot, continuing on to the Magic Kingdom Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios and then back to Epcot for an exhilarating finish.