Whole Earth, the organic food brand from Wessanen UK, sponsored its third Man v Horse Marathon at the beginning of June – as the event celebrated its 37th year overall.
The Whole Earth Man v Horse endurance challenge pits runners against 60 riders on horseback as they race 23 miles over wild terrain in Powys, mid-Wales. As part of this year’s event, Whole Earth conducted a nationwide search for three enthusiastic female runners to become ‘Team Whole Earth’. Following training and advice from Whole Earth’s expert team of nutritionists and personal trainers, the three chosen women ran the marathon as a relay.
Whole Earth’s backing of the Man V Horse event is part of a wider sports sponsorship strategy to position its peanut butter as a key source of natural nutrition for elite athletes and casual fitness aficionados alike. The brand is also a sponsor of The British Triathlon Federation and last year forged a partnership with celebrity personal trainers Jackie & Mark Wren, supporting the brand’s positioning as ‘nature’s wonder-fuel’ for active, healthy people.
Since a brand redesign last summer, Whole Earth has enjoyed strong growth as demand for healthy, natural foods increases. Latest figures show the Whole Earth peanut butter value sales grew by 35.6% in the last 12 weeks, significantly outperforming category growth of 17.9% (source: IRI w/e 21st May 2016).
Gill Green, Marketing Director at Wessanen UK commented:
“We’re very proud to have sponsored the Whole Earth Man v Horse Marathon for another year. It’s an event which is perfectly matched to Whole’s Earth’s brand personality – natural, healthy and fun. Thanks in part to partnerships like this, more and more athletes are seeing Whole Earth peanut butter as the ideal source of natural protein to fuel their workouts and enhance their performance.”
Olympian Liz Yelling, who was announced as a mentor and trainer for the event at the launch in April, also took part in this year’s race. Using her experience of competing at the top level, Liz helped Team Whole Earth and other novices around the course.
She commented: “Whole Earth Man V Horse is not like anything else, it’s a real tribute to endurance and eccentricity. The Team Whole Earth have come such a long way since our training began – they and everyone who completed the race should feel really proud.”