The New York Apple Association has been a sponsor of the New York City Marathon for 20 years. In 2014, Robert Guenther of United Fresh ran the race and celebrated with a New York apple after his finish.

Giving away about 82,000 apples, the New York Apple Association celebrated its 20th year as a sponsor of the New York City Marathon.

With local appeal and a gleaming health halo, the association found plenty of attention at the Nov. 5 race.

The TCS New York City Marathon provided runners with healthy snacks at the end of the race and the bags included New York apples, said Julia Stewart, public relations director for the Fishers, N.Y.-based association.

The race attracted 50,000 runners and extensive media coverage for multiple days, Stewart said.

“This is a fantastic event for us, and the reason that New York Apple Association — on behalf of the entire industry — has sponsored it so long because it makes sense for our industry and our brand on several levels,” Stewart said.

High-performance athletes compete in the marathon and welcome apples as part of their diet, she said. 

Beyond that, New York apple marketers receive media exposure that no other marathon can deliver.

“We get visibility in the country’s largest media market and that in itself is an incredible value,” she said. 

Sponsorship advertising featuring New York apples was attached to some of the television coverage and also printed materials at the race, she said.

The New York Apple Association’s advertisements urged “Health to the Core” in the marathon’s official program, and the association provided 5-second public announcements for the TCS New York City Marathon Expo Presented by New Balance, according to a news release.

As a sponsor, the association receives 15 entry tickets for runners. This year, the group sponsored runners from the Rochester, N.Y. region, including members of the Rochester area police and fire departments.

A couple of years ago, Stewart said, Robert Guenther of United Fresh was given a runner’s entry ticket by the state’s apple association and completed the race.

With New York the leading Eastern apple producer, that the event is a natural to sponsor, Cynthia Haskins, president of the New York Apple Association, said in a release.

“New York state really is the Big Apple,” she said in the release.