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Virgin Sport Launches Fitness Festival

17 Aug, 2017


During the world’s first press conference on the move, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Sport CEO Mary Wittenberg, along with Gene McCarthy, President and CEO, ASICS Americas announced the launch of Virgin Sport San Francisco: Festival of Fitness at the iconic Ferry Building along the Embarcadero. Sir Richard, Mary, Gene and invited guests ran, pedaled, lunged and namaste’d while discussing Virgin Sport’s vision to get millions of people moving, and its first US event in San Francisco this October.

Virgin Sport creates Festivals of Fitness to bring people together and make challenge fun. Festivals of Fitness have something for everyone including athletes, new participants, family and friends, and are customized to each host community. San Francisco will be Virgin Sport’s first US event, and will feature the Virgin Sport SF Halfmarathon, starting and finishing at City Hall on Sunday, October 15.

Festivities start Friday, October 13 with a pre-party at City Hall. The fitness party continues Saturday, October 14 with the Twin Peaks Mile hill climb, a new one mile run up one of the most iconic views of the city. The climb will feature waves of runners based on speed, costume, team and more, all in a celebratory atmosphere.

Throughout the weekend, the Civic Center Plaza will be transformed into the Go Fit Yourself fitness hub, offering diverse workout challenges from boot camps to yoga classes, led by top local instructors. At Go Fit Yourself, participants and fans can also fuel up with healthy local food, dance to live music, view art installations and enjoy the spirit and culture of San Francisco. Activations will be both free and paid.

Registration fees start at $89 for the Virgin Sport SF Half, and participants will be invited to make a donation for Virgin Sport’s local Give Back partner, Playworks, who are increasing physical activity by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. Virgin Sport is committed to supporting youth and free fitness in each of its host communities.

Virgin Sport is also announcing ASICS as its global performance sport partner and sponsor, who will encourage San Franciscans to run and move in true performance style, providing co-branded apparel for participants, training content and additional experiential activations. ASICS is dedicated to being a part of its fans’ fitness journey from head-to-toe, offering premium footwear, apparel, gear and accessories designed for a wide range of sports and fitness activity.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group stated:

“The challenge and spirit of sport inspires us, and we’re having a blast building a new movement to combine the sweat of sport with the swagger of Virgin. With the precedent of Virgin America and our upcoming Virgin Hotel, we love San Francisco San Francisco and its passionate residents, and look forward to breaking new boundaries here together.

Mary Wittenberg, CEO of Virgin Sport stated:

“We are so excited and honored to partner with the City of San Francisco on this first-ever festival of fitness, inspired by and celebrating San Francisco culture and community. We want to help everyone get their challenge on, crash through the gates that hold people back from sport, and enable anyone to feel and be a part of the team.”

Gene McCarthy, President and CEO, ASICS Americas stated:

“ASICS is dedicated to promoting and driving participation in sports, and we’re thrilled to partner with Virgin Sport to offer such a unique approach to fitness and community. As we look toward the changing industry landscape, ASICS continues to create ways to connect to fitness enthusiasts outside of just core runners, and Virgin Sport is a perfect partner to reach that audience. Our brand has always played a central role in our consumers’ personal fitness journey and we look forward to seeing how San Francisco moves and celebrates together during the Festival.”

Virgin Sport San Francisco is one of Virgin’s four Festivals of Fitness launching in 2017, with three additional events in the greater London area. Virgin Sport Hackney was 30 April; Virgin Sport Westminster is 9 July; and Virgin Sport Oxford is 08 October. In the coming months, Virgin Sport will create more active experiences in cities around the world, and hopes to continue to serve the city and people of San Francisco.

To register, head to Virginsport.com/event/san-francisco-2017. For further information on Virgin Sport San Francisco, please visit:

About Virgin Sport: Virgin Sport is an active life style company within Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Group, and is on a mission to move the world through sport. Virgin Sport creates Festivals of Fitness to combine running and fitness challenges with community celebrations. Virgin Sport plans to grow to new cities and active experiences in the coming years.

About Virgin Group: Virgin is a leading international investment group and one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands. Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors including mobile telephony, travel & transportation, financial services, leisure & entertainment and health & wellness.

About ASICS: Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning "A Sound Mind in a Sound Body," is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.asics.com. Follow @ASICSamerica onFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube for exclusive content and real-time news around ASICS products, events, and elite athletes.

About Playworks: Playworks is the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health. In the 2016-17 school year, Playworks will reach 900,000 students at 1,800 schools in 23 U.S. cities directly and through professional training services. We are changing school culture by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Our vision is for 3.5 million kids in 7,000 elementary schools nationwide to experience safe and healthy play every day by 2020. 

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