BOSTON, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* is making it easier than ever to stay connected during Boston Marathon weekend, offering a host of free features to help athletes and spectators experience the 2013 Boston Marathon. AT&T is once again proud to be the Official Wireless Provider of the 117th Boston Marathon.
AT&T will also educate runners and fans on the importance of using their smartphones safely by urging everyone in Boston for marathon weekend to take a pledge never to text and drive. This is all part of AT&T's ongoing "Txtng & Drivng: It Can Wait" campaign to educate drivers on the dangers of texting while driving.
AT&T will bring its in-car texting simulator to City Hall Plaza on Sunday, April 14 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., during the Boston Athletic Association's annual pre-race dinner; and to the family meeting area on Marathon Monday, April 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (The family meeting area is located on St. James Avenue and Stuart Street, from Berkeley to Clarendon Streets.) The car simulator allows participants to sit in the driver's seat of a real car, put on a virtual-reality headset and attempt to text while "driving."
"AT&T is making it easy for marathon runners and fans to stay connected throughout marathon weekend, whether that means tracking your favorite runners during the race or calling your friends and family from the finish line," said Steve Krom, vice president and general manager, AT&T New England. "We're also excited to share our 'It Can Wait' message with runners and fans, and hope that everyone in Boston will take the pledge never to text and drive."
AT&T will once again offer a host of free features to help keep runners and spectators connected during Marathon weekend. This will include:
- AT&T Athlete Alert: Marathon fans who want to track the progress of their friends and family, or their favorite elite runner, can get updates sent to their mobile phone or email, in real-time. AT&T is once again the Exclusive Sponsor of the AT&T Athlete Alert Program. Signing up is easy. Simply text RUNNER to 345678 and get signed up to receive course updates on your runner. AT&T will also provide tablets at the AT&T Athlete Alert Station at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo during race weekend for those who want to sign up for the alerts. You can also sign up for text or email alerts online at www.baa.org. Program sign-up is available now. Online registration closes on Sunday, April 14 at 6 p.m., but AT&T is providing registration via mobile phone throughout the marathon duration. Updates will be sent when your runner reaches the start, 10K, half marathon, 30K mark, and from the finish line. (Normal text message rates apply.)
- *NEW THIS YEAR* Marathon mobile app: Runners and fans can use the B.A.A.'s new mobile app – the Official Boston Marathon App, powered by AT&T – to learn about the race and competitors. App users can select up to 10 runners to track and receive updates as those runners reach the 10K mark in Framingham, the 13.1-mile mark in Wellesley Center, the 30K mark on the Newton Hills, the finish line – or any combination of those four markers. Text APP to 345678 to receive a link to download the app. Plus, show your download on race weekend at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo and receive a complimentary 2013 Boston Marathon Skin for your mobile device, courtesy of AT&T (while supplies last).
- *NEW THIS YEAR* Commemorative Sunday finish line photos: Runners and spectators alike can head down to the Boylston Street finish line on Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. to have a commemorative photo taken, courtesy of AT&T. Photos will either be texted or emailed, and fans will also receive a free photo magnet frame to showcase their snapshot.
- AT&T Text 2 Screen: Friends and family can also cheer on their runner with AT&T's Text 2 Screen. Just text a message to 567890 and your message will appear on screens along the course and at the finish line.
- Free calling stations: AT&T will offer three free calling stations for finishers in the family meeting area to help runners contact their loved ones after the race by phone or text. The calling centers will be on Clarendon, St. James and Stuart streets.
- Free Wi-Fi: AT&T will provide free Wi-Fi to its customers at the start line of the 117th Boston Marathon in Hopkinton and at the finish line on Boylston Street.
Plus, marathon spectators will be able to call, tweet, text, and upload photos from the course on the nation's – and New England's – largest 4G** network and the nation's largest Wi-Fi network***.
AT&T's blazing-fast 4G LTE wireless network was recently singled out for speed by the Seattle-based mobile research and testing firm RootMetrics® (4G LTE Performance Review, March 2013). Additionally, AT&T was named winner of the combined RootMetrics RootScore® Award for overall call, text and mobile Internet performance in Boston in October, 2012.
* AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
** Limited 4G LTE availability in select markets. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. Claim based on a comparison of U.S. national carriers' average 4G LTE download speeds for Android™ and Windows smartphones and iPhone 5. 4G speeds not available everywhere.
*** A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.
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About the B.A.A. Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial Services. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors along with the Virgin London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon. Nearly 50,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2013.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.