Rainier Fruit announces the start of a multi-year relationship with the Boston Athletic Association as an official sponsor of the Boston Marathon.
Mark Zirkle, president of Rainier Fruit says, “We have been in business for 128 years, and as a leading grower of both conventional and organic apples, pears, cherries and blueberries, it makes perfect sense for us to sponsor a legacy event like the oldest, most prestigious running event in the country, The Boston Marathon.”
The Boston Marathon is celebrating its 120th running on Monday, April 18th, 2016. The marathon attracts 30,000 registered participants and 500,000 spectators making it one of New England’s most widely viewed sporting events, company officials say. Runners and spectators will have access to fresh samples of Rainier Fruit “Rising Star” apples at hospitality locations and throughout the marathon.
“Athletes are always looking for the best in healthy foods to power their training. Our ‘Rising Star’ apples, in both conventional and organic options, are known for their crisp texture and exceptional flavors that keep consumers coming back. These Rising Stars include our proprietary Lady Alice apple and standouts such as Honeycrisp, Jazz, and Pink Lady,” says Zirkle.
Zirkle has made it clear that Rainier Fruit is committed to excellence in the production of both conventional and organic fruit to meet the diverse lifestyle choices of consumers. “During the past 15 years we have transitioned as much of our acreage to organics as possible. Today we are one of the largest suppliers of organic fruit in the U.S. The early lessons we learned in promoting biodiversity, soil quality and general environmental benefits of organic growing are applied to all of the products we grow,” adds Zirkle.
The sponsorship of the Boston Marathon is more than a singular event for Rainier Fruit; it’s about connecting with individuals seeking a healthy, active lifestyle. According to Running USA, running as a sport has grown by more than 300 percent during the last 20 years and nearly 19 million athletes completed a running event in 2015.
Zirkle says, “We couldn’t be more excited about this new opportunity to introduce the exceptional quality and sweet flavor of our apples while supporting the running community. This is part of our long-term commitment to providing healthy and nutritious fruit products to people around the world.”
In the years to follow, Rainier Fruit will be working closely with regional and national retailers to leverage in-store promotions and packaging that highlights the Boston Marathon sponsorship while also introducing new tools and resources for health-conscious consumers.
“Runners live everywhere and we love how they embrace athletic lifestyles which include both diet and exercise. We believe our high quality fruits like apples, pears, cherries and blueberries work perfectly with a balanced healthy diet,” adds Zirkle.