The Boston Marathon gear is desirable because it is exclusive. If you have it, it means you completed a 26.6 mile race, giving you instead respect among athletes and fans. The design and aesthetic does not really matter–the most important feature is the legibility of the words “Boston Marathon”. If the design and aesthetic is functional and beautiful, the runners can more easily wear and show their status symbol pieces. Yet even if these items were ugly and fit poorly, people would still wear them proudly and observers would still recognize them with the same regard. Under Armour and other high performance gear also gives a certain legitimacy to an athlete, because the gear shows that the person cares enough about sports to pay a premium for a sports-specific item. However, these garments represent this legitimacy precisely because of their reputation for highly specific design features, unlike the Boston Marathon gear, which is really just a medal in another form.
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