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RACE - The Movie

March 23, 2016

It’s not unusual to see representatives of Cramer Products at sporting events, in training rooms, and at the annual NATA convention. Walking the red carpet before a movie premier in New York City though? That’s a bit out of the ordinary! But last month several Cramer employees had the opportunity to walk the red carpet and attend the premier of the new movie, RACE, the story of Gold Medal track and field champion Jesse Owens.

RACE depicts Owens as he prepares to compete in the 1936 Berlin Games. Facing a racially divided United States and Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy in Berlin, Owens succeeds in breaking records and winning four Gold medals in one of the greatest athletic performances of all time. The movie was released nationwide on Feb. 19.

“In September, we were approached by Spark Alliance, a company that develops movie launch partnerships for all of the major motion picture production houses,” explains Tim Dunphy, Senior Brand and Category Manager for Performance Health. “They reached out to us about a partnership for RACE, because they identified Performance Health as a caring company that helps people perform at their best.”

Tim continues, “We were interested in exploring the opportunity, and as our talks progressed we uncovered a nicer and deeper parallel between the Cramer brand and Jesse Owens. For example, the Cramer brothers were the first athletic trainers for the U.S.A. Track and Field team…not the 1936 Games in Berlin where Owens won four gold medals, but the previous 1932 Games in Los Angeles. From day one, Cramer has stood for dedication and commitment, and that is what Jesse Owens stood for as well.”

Spark Alliance and Focus Features (the company that produced and distributed the film) hadn’t been very familiar with the Cramer brand, Tim says, and they were thrilled to discover the remarkable history linking Cramer and the Games. “We even went into the archives and found an issue of The First Aider that came out during the 1936 Berlin Games,” Tim says. “There’s an article that tells what the weather in Berlin has been like, and a sketch of the badge worn by athletes, officials, and press representatives.”

After some negotiations, an agreement was reached and Cramer was named an Official Launch Partner for RACE. “As a partner, we used all of our advertising channels to get the word out about the movie starting at the beginning of February,” Tim says. “There’s even a Cramer RACE To The Finish sweepstakes, with a grand prize trip to Hollywood and other prizes including a Fitbit and Cramer-RACE co-branded t-shirts.” The contest runs through the end of April.

Performance Health and Cramer employees all received some nice perks from the partnership. Tim says, “We received the rights to one corporate screening of the movie—even before the official New York premier. We rented out a theatre in Akron and invited all employees and their guests. And we’re paying for our employees who work in other locations, including Gardner, Kan., to see the movie locally if they weren’t able to get to Akron. And of course, everyone got a t-shirt!”

Tim says there’s another commonality between Cramer and RACE that was surprising and wonderful to discover. He recounts, “When representatives of Spark Alliance saw the Cramer logo--the red circle and the iconic running man silhouette--they thought we had created a special logo just for our partnership with the Jesse Owens movie and told us we couldn’t do that! When we told them that this was the logo Cramer had used for decades, and not a specially designed logo, they were shocked. Then we saw the RACE logo, featuring a silhouette of Jesse Owens running that is almost identical to our running man, and we were shocked!”

Tim says the synergy in the partnership with RACE is exciting and has been a wonderful experience. “The movie is so uplifting and even though you know the ending before it starts, the story is so human and inspiring that you leave feeling energized and excited.

The movie is outstanding and we encourage everyone to see it!”