MUNICH - November 7, 2012 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - This week, Westin Hotels & Resorts kicks off the global roll-out of the brand’s new gear lending programme with New Balance. Following a successful pilot, the innovative, exclusive product loan experience is now available to guests at all 190 Westin hotels worldwide, empowering more travellers to stay healthy and fit on the road. In celebration, Westin and New Balance associates around the world will participate in three to five kilometre runs and walks to benefit Soles4Souls.
“We are excited to celebrate the global launch of the New Balance gear lending programme 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 travellers who forgot their gear or decide to work out last-minute.”
Globally, thousands of associates at close to 75 participating Westin properties will run nearly 10,000 kilometres (more than the land mass around the world), reinforcing Westin’s on-going commitment to making fitness convenient for travellers.
The European launch kicks-off today at The Westin Grand Munich in Germany with Brian Povinelli and New Balance. Together with Westin associates, media and members of the community, the group will take a three kilometre run through the famous Englischer Garden.
14 Westin hotels and resorts, and more than 280 associates, throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East will participate in this unified running moment in celebration of the programme.
As part of the celebration of the New Balance gear lending global launch, three to five kilometre walks and runs are taking place in dozens of cities around the world including New York, Boston, Milan, Munich, Toronto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo. These runs will begin at Westin hotels in each area and follow that property’s designated RunWESTIN™ 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 organisation 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.
“Today’s travellers 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 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.”
The decision to expand the gear lending programme with New Balance globally was driven by the unprecedented positive feedback from users of the pilot programme, 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 programme. 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 programme in place. This innovative programme eliminates the hassle of packing gear, which surveyed guests listed as a key barrier to working out while travelling.
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 programme 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 three and five-mile local area running maps. As part of the partnership, participating properties will provide guests travelling 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.
In addition to the new Westin gear lending programme and in response to the evolving fitness trends among guests, Westin and its owners are also investing more than $37 million in new fitness offerings to keep travellers healthy and fit on the road. Throughout 2012, Westin will transform fitness facilities at its 190 hotels around the world into highly-designed fitness studios featuring new equipment such versatile pulley machines and options for stretching and yoga, blue-light therapy “ActiViva Lightning” in partnership with Philips and more. Inspired by nature, the design of Westin’s new fitness studios is custom-created, using natural, soft-tone colour palette, organic materials including textural woven flooring and displaying a full-size art mural entitled “Step Up” – a reflective image of people running up a grassy hill, illustrating Westin’s goal of helping guests leave feeling better than when they arrived.
For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com, Facebook or follow Westin on Twitter.
Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programmes that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoods and WestinWORKOUT studio – have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 190 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,128 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programmes, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.westin.com
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently the only athletic shoe company that manufactures footwear in the U.S. with 25% of our U.S. footwear shipments produced at five New England facilities. The company also operates a manufacturing facility in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 4000 associates around the globe, and in 2011 reported worldwide sales of $2.04 billion. To learn more about how New Balance Makes Excellent Happen, please visit http://www.newbalance.com.
Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-enterprise efforts to eradicate poverty. Soles4Souls’ other two divisions, Clothes4Souls and Hope4Souls, provide the same relief and support through clothing and other necessities. Donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org, www.clothes4souls.org or www.hope4souls.org for more information.
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europa, Africa & Middle East