Spending On U.S. Marathons And Other Running Events To Total $84 Million In '08

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North American-based companies will spend an estimated $84 million to sponsor marathons, triathlons, 10Ks and other running events this year, up 8.4 percent from $77.5 million in '07, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

North American-based companies will spend an estimated $84 million to sponsor marathons, triathlons, 10Ks and other running events this year, up 8.4 percent from $77.5 million in '07, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

While the increase is down from last year's 14 percent increase, the affluent demographics of runners and triathletes continue to attract new players to the sport.

"Unlike many other types of properties that are struggling due to the weak economy, corporate interest in marathons and other types of running events remains high due to the sports' desirable demographics," said William Chipps, IEG Sponsorship Report's senior editor.

Case in point: Next month's ING New York City Marathon brought on four new corporate partners this year including Diamond Foods, Inc.'s Emerald Nuts, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.'s The Food Emporium and hearing aid manufacturer Widex USA, Inc.

The companies are providing valuable promotional support for the event through their off-site activation programs. For example, The Food Emporium this month ran a three-week in-store promotion with Asics Corp., Emerald and other sponsors that offered shoes and other sponsor prizes. The retailer touted the promotion in a circular and through in-store displays.

In addition to its location and status as one of the world's major marathons, the New York City Marathon credits its sponsorship success in part to positioning itself as a sports and entertainment event offering proprietary programming that sponsors can claim ownership to.

Case in point: Continental Airlines, Inc.'s sponsorship includes title of the marathon's International Friendship Run.

Other recent deals in the marathon space include CIGNA Corp.'s presenting sponsorship of Walt Disney World Marathon; Foot Locker, Inc. presenting Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend on behalf of its Lady Foot Locker retail brand; BP plc's sponsorship of Washington, D.C.'s Marine Corps Marathon; and Verizon Wireless' sponsorship of the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.

Those deals follow partnerships signed earlier this year between Nissan North America, Inc. and USA Track & Field and 10 endurance events (IEG SR, July 14, 2008).

About IEG, LLC:
IEG is the world's leading provider of independent research, consulting, training and analysis on sponsorship. Founded in 1981, IEG provides corporations and properties with the strategies and tools to harness the sales and marketing power of sports, arts, entertainment and cause marketing.

IEG offers services that include sponsorship consulting, competitive intelligence and valuation. IEG also publishes IEG Sponsorship Report, the international biweekly newsletter on sponsorship; the IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook, the definitive guide to sponsors, properties and agencies; and other industry publications and sources.

IEG also is the leader in sponsorship training. Its internationally renowned Sponsorship Conference, now in its 26th year, attracts a capacity crowd of delegates each year. Through its conferences, seminars and webinars, IEG has trained more than 45,000 sponsorship executives worldwide.

For more information about IEG and the sponsorship industry, please visit http://www.sponsorship.com or call 800/834-4850 (outside the U.S. and Canada, 312/944-1727).

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William Chipps
IEG, LLC
312-944-1727
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