Garmin Launches Forerunner 50; Announces Sponsorships
Garmin is getting into sponsorships big time with events kicking off at this weekend's Chicago Marathon. This program is part of a push into the fitness arena with their recently announced Forerunner 50 fitness watch that anchors a line of more sophisticated Forerunner products. As part of its growing sponsorship program that focuses on many of the biggest races in the nation, Garmin is proud to contribute to the marathon that brings 45,000 runners to the hometown of its flagship retail store on Michigan Avenue. Also this weekend, runners and supporters will get their first chance to test and purchase Garmin’s newest fitness watch, the Forerunner 50.
Garmin is also going to be sponsoring the NYC, Las Vegas Marathon and the PF Chang's Rock n Roll Marathon and half marathon.
"Since the announcement of the Forerunner 50, runners, walkers and cyclists have looked forward to this sleek fitness watch that combines quality and functionality that fitness enthusiasts want, for a low price,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales, “We can’t think of a better place to first make it available than the Garmin store and our Expo booth during the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.”
Garmin’s growing presence in the fitness world has been evident at more than a dozen races around the country through the first nine months of 2007, and the company’s sponsorship schedule shows no signs of slowing down. After welcoming tens of thousands of runners, friends and family to Chicago — home of Garmin’s retail store at 663 N. Michigan Ave. — the company known around the world for its navigation and communication devices will sponsor and support the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4 (37,000 runners), the Las Vegas Marathon on Dec. 2 (25,000 runners) and the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon on Jan. 13 (35,000 runners). At the Garmin store this weekend, visitors can make personalized Thunder Stix for the runners they support, or they can hop on a treadmill to try out the Forerunner 50, available all weekend at the store and the marathon Expo.
The central element of the Forerunner 50 system, announced at Outdoor Retailer 2007, is an advanced fitness watch which interfaces wirelessly with other fitness devices such as a heart rate monitor or a foot pod that monitors speed and distance. The system includes a wireless USB ANT™ Stick that plugs into the user’s PC and automatically downloads workout data stored on the watch to a personal computer. No cables are necessary as the Forerunner 50 synchronizes with the computer once it is in close proximity. Depending on the model purchased, the Forerunner 50 accurately monitors and records heart rate or speed and distance or all of the above.
With this entry-level fitness watch priced at under $100, Garmin broadens its appeal to the millions of consumers who want to burn calories in a cost-effective manner. While the Forerunner 50 processes much of the same data as its GPS-enabled predecessors, those functions are packaged in a very compact device the size of a typical fitness watch.
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Posted by Scott Martin at October 5, 2007 6:27 AM