The Great Society asked Picture Farm Production and the latest addition to the PF director roster Andrew David Watson to orchestrate, shoot and edit a 5k guerilla-style “energy run” for Adidas through the streets of NYC, weaving through seven independent shoot locations, each stop a surprise to the assembled team of elite runners and influencers hand picked for the event.


“In preparation for the New York City Marathon this weekend, Adidas gathered a team of social media-savvy athletes to race through New York promoting its Energy Running movement and the Energy Boost line. The 5K run, which tapped influencers—including running coach Robin Arzon, MC Barao and dancer Ally Love—took participants on a unique 3.1-mile route through the city after sunset.

“We took the trail-runner mentality to the streets, where nothing is an obstacle but part of the unexpected and welcomed journey,” Ashley Czarnowski, senior manager, U.S. running brand communications for Adidas told Adweek.

The 5K kicked off at the Adidas Sport Performance store in SoHo, where runners suited up in the latest Adidas gear, including the brand’s self-proclaimed “best running shoe ever,” the Ultra Boost.

“Whether you’re running the marathon, training to qualify next year or just getting into running, our mission was to craft an activation where runners could experience the city from a new and unique perspective,” Czarnowski said. “Energy Running is all about creating your own path and drawing energy from your surroundings, so New York City is the perfect place for this experience.”

Influencers selected for the event needed to embody the Adidas brand with their own persona and style, be creative on social media, and have a substantial following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. Consumers could follow their favorite participants on social media throughout the 3.1 miles.”

The secret route, scouted and designed by Watson and Picture Farm included an array of unlikely stops and obstacles in a sort of urban garden maze of excitement:

Starting at the Adidas Store on Houston Broadway, the pack hit the New Museum stairs to the skybox and back to the beats of the Gallent Entertainment drummers. Continuing around the corner up Freemans Alley, through the back door of The Box, where the found themselves on stage with a live band playing Born to Run to an adoring audience.


Once again on the run, out the front door down Chrystie Street into Chinatown and the Sara D Roosevelt Track where they met top level sprinters who tested their short twitch skills. Around the corner the went to Bacaro into a dining room full of patrons dining by candle light and toasting their achievement.

Down to the water under the Manhattan Bridge and the Cherry Arch and down to South Street where they were whisked up eight stories to a rooftop overlooking the East River and a laser light show and loudspeakers blasting Sinatra singing the opening anthem of the NYC marathon.


Back again down the stairs along the East River promenade and to South Street Seaport where an exuberant crowd waited amidst the giant Adidas Boost Experience NYC Marathon booth.

Whew. Try repeating that all in one breath.


The two groups of runners, one led by DJ Neil Armstrong, the other by Robin Arzon, hit the route timed perfectly for each stationary video and stills team to capture the action and followed by cycling still and motion camera operators as well as a roving, ultra-marathon shooter, running the distance and then some, moving between groups. Each and every media member of the media capture team were placed and organized by director Andrew David Watson.

Watson then immediately took control in the edit room to help the PF Post team quickly turn the hours of cumulative footage into the high energy documentation due to hit the waves only two days later.

Each part of the process, from the treatment phase through to delivery would take hours of conceptualizing, fine-tuning and work-flow organizing to make the capture and turnaround seamless. Only a solid team could pull it all together from A to Z with such aplomb.

You could take our word for it, or read about it in AdWeek, FN and SGBToday.


More from PF’s sporting activities here…