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Case Study Running Room

Running the Show

Sharing running expertise, building community and giving back one runner at a time

Running Room is North America’s largest chain of specialty running stores. Opened in 1984 in Edmonton, Alberta, the family-owned and operated company has over 100 locations across Canada and the United States. Founder John Stanton is a best-selling running author, mentor and Order of Canada recipient named to Macleans magazine’s Canada Day Honour as one of 10 Canadians who are making a difference in our nation, for his contribution to health through fitness. Running Room is also a national leader in corporate social responsibility with its charitable give back and donation programs.

The Challenge

CaseStudy_RunningRoom_ChallengeDuring a prolonged period of growth, Running Room needed to ensure that a series of store openings, including at a popular US retail hub, would entice media coverage. To generate interest and exposure, professional media relations support would be required. Running Room contacted C Me Communications to head up media campaigns not only across Canada but also at one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, the Mall of America (MOA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The bigger challenge, the MOA launch meant pitching US media unfamiliar with the retail brand, its product, or its founder, and yet ensure the store launch would be a success.

The Solution

Tell John Stanton’s extraordinary story and highlight John’s remarkable ability to inspire others and to build community. C Me championed John’s appeal as the “marathon man” who ran over 60 marathons but was once an out-of-shape, two pack a day smoker who secretly could only run from lamp post to lamp post. Furnished with knowledge of John’s long-range impact, getting one million people off the couch and onto the running trail, media was soon on board and booking interviews to meet the needs of a wide variety of fitness enthusiasts, from those who were just getting into running to those contemplating a marathon. The human-interest element, tips and expertise provided by John were built into PR campaigns with personalized pitches leading to greater engagement.

The Impact

C Me was instrumental in building media interest, setting up compelling interviews, building brand awareness and in ensuring that John delivered his unique vision to his audience. During each store launch, including at the Mall of America, C Me ensured John was regularly featured on local broadcast media. Mainstream media outlets that booked interviews included the highly rated morning show on NBC Kare 11 News, ABC KSTP, and Fox My 29’s On the Fly. 

In Canada, John was featured on the front section of the Toronto Star’s Entertainment page, regularly booked on CTV’s Canada AM, featured on City TV’s lifestyle show Cityline. C Me also secured John’s appearance as a featured guest on local, regional, and national radio programs including CBC Radio, and on morning shows for Global TV and Breakfast Television. The media outreach led to a greater impact, building engagement in both the US and in Canada.

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Social Change Partners & Clients

Our clients are recognized as leaders in their fields, acknowledged for their unique talents and some are respected by millions of fans. They are CEOs, social entrepreneurs, impact organizations, artists, innovators, authors, Oscar winners and Order of Canada recipients, and they all share a passion for the greater good.