Anything for a T-shirt is the story of Fred Lebow and the New York City Marathon which states the life of Fred Lebow in making this marathon one of the biggest event in the world by motivating and using different marketing techniques. Fred Lebow’s character has been shed light very effectively about the complex characteristics he had. His fight against the cancer has been stated as the masterpiece of struggle he has done for himself and the people who never realized how important it is to be in the running.
Fred started the marathon in 1970 when around 120 runners competed in the race and 55 finished the race with Fred getting the 45 place in the race. The conceiving part of this marathon is quite the major reason for its success. With the world turning into stress and people getting lazy day by day and the fitness of the man decreases indulged Fred to do this in order to mark victory for mankind which should not lose hope in anytime of his life. The marathon states the actual starting of an event that has many reasons far more than this. This marathon provided the event that causes people to work together in a team for the betterment of mankind. There are various other reasons that made Fred conceived this marathon. He himself has been running in various parts of the world in a gesture of being friendly. He was started to being recognized as a symbol of sportsmanship.
The life of Fred depicts the fact about the struggle of himself as well. This book has been written in the same time to recognize the role of Fred in making this marathon a giant.
The marathon in the start was simply a voluntary act as it didn’t offer any incentives to the runners. The position holders however, were given prizes. More importantly this marathon in the start was also not considered an appropriate act by the government because it caused the city to close down its various roads for no reason at all. The police didn’t allow the participants to enter the roads which were compulsory for the runners to run through always made the shifting in the roadmap all the times. This scenario was well caught by Fred when he decided to make a difference by his own campaign. He started to hype this marathon for being as an important act not only for the fitness but as an item which people can use for their own good in the time of crises to release frustration in them. He went to the New York Road Runner association for their help in making this a huge event. He went to the sponsors and offered them guaranteed marketing for their products as he always expected that his idea is unique and will caught eye of many people. In the search to make it big he also made various celebrities to pay frequent visits to the places where the marathon took place. Various sportsmen were available before the start of each marathon stating the importance of this event. All of this happened due to his personal interests and struggle. He never went down on anything at anytime describing his faith in his idea and because he believed that he was doing it for good and not for money and fame.
All these steps made the marathon to become big. The number of the runners increased year by year and people turned up for various reasons. Fred also stated the need of being fit when all the things happening around people don’t allow them to take some time for them. The prizes were increased and the money came from the New York Road Runners at first and then by the sponsors who deemed far more advertisement and consequently profits. Professional runners made their ways into the marathon and various record breaks started to happen which allowed competition between the professionals as well. Amateurs were always there for their personal pleasure. The marathon roadmap also extended by the support of the government and the traffic was stopped at many roads where the runners had to run.
Ron Rubin has been very close to Fred all his life when he first started this venture of the Marathon race. Ron critically shed light on the determination and motivation Fred had for the Marathon race. According to Ron, he and Fred always had reasons of discomfort. Fred wanted him to be on his side all the times but there were always some disputes present on the approach of Fred towards the race. Ron states that Fred went straight at those issues which required finances. He was not shy to currently visit the government and the sponsors for their support in arranging the Marathon. Fred always acted as a catalyst in his approach. When he had made a decision he wanted all of them to follow that decision all the times no matter what could happen. Fred had hired a team of eight employees which were paid by the New York Runner Club in the expense of the betterment of the running facilities and again Fred wanted most. During all the course of time, the Marathon also acted as a political foreground where the current management always took the Marathon for their benefits. Fred was not worried about how Marathon was approached by different people unless he gained what he wanted for foot racing.
According to Ron, Fred was the man of character and strength. He stated this fact because after Fred found out that he had brain cancer, he never gave up his idea of running and arranging marathon. This was his biggest belief that no matter what happens every person has to die and he will do what he has to do before he die. This issue also made headlines sometimes where people started to saw him as a hero for them. His endless struggle was never to put down no matter what happened on the other. His eloquent way of discussing things and making those things to happen made the reality all the times.
There have been some strategies also used by Fred to make this idea successful. He, however, never used his brain cancer as a marketing source but it was used somehow. He designed a mass marketing strategy where he wanted the banners and play cards to hang all around the central park which was the start of the Marathon. The New York Road Runner committee sometimes viewed Fred as a stubborn person in order to make his demands met at any cost but the committee always did so because they thought it was better for the people and consequently for the society. He started to use his motto as well which stated “Anything for a T-shirt”. This logo defined new boundaries for people where they were motivated to earn that shirt at any cost to make them realize that they have been a part of something very special. Something that will make them feel proud that they have been a part of a Marathon and most importantly they have done something for their own success.
Fred was successful in creating an image as well. He continually got part in the marathons all around the world. He was started to be considered as an icon lately in 1980s which helped him to gain more and more runners all the times. Moreover, when people saw his struggle being a cancer patient they admired him very much as well. This whole situation was very welcoming for Fred in the coming years. Due to his struggle the number of the runners went across 35000 and the number of spectators increased from time to time to thousands. The government recognized this as an event better for the New York City and for its people and gave full support. The roads were closed during the event and the running area started to include five suburbs of New York City making it as the biggest running event of the world.
Fred ran in nearly all the races and finished most of them. He was such a source of inspiration that caused thousands of people to run just to feel good for them. Later speculations in the marathon included people of wheel chairs as well so that they should also feel themselves as the part of normal people. Fred died in 1992 due to the severity of the brain cancer. His sculpture was placed in New York City to give him tribute to what he has done for the people of New York City and the world.