Sponsorship Spending on Endurance Sports to Total $102 Million in 2012

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IEG expects growing popularity of mud runs, adventure races and other nontraditional events to fuel increase in sponsorship spending

These are good days for endurance sports events.

North American sponsorship spending on marathons, triathlons and related events is expected to total $102.1 million in 2012, up 6.7 percent from $95.7 million in 2011, according to IEG, the world’s leading authority on sponsorship.

The increase outpaces IEG’s projected 4.1 percent increase for the overall sponsorship industry in 2012 and 6.4 percent increase for the entire sports category.

IEG Sponsorship Report senior editor William Chipps points to three primary factors driving the increase in spending: The growing number of endurance sports participants, an affluent audience base and rising interest in health and wellness.

“Endurance sports enthusiasts are passionate about the sport, and marketers are eager to tap into that passion,” Chipps said.

Recent deals range from six-figure naming rights of national event series to four- and-five-figure ties with grassroots events.

New partnerships include Allstate Corp. and the Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Marathon Series; HumanaVitality , LLC and the Kentucky Derby Marathon; and PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.

Another factor behind the increase in spending: The growing popularity of mud runs, adventure races and other nontraditional endurance events. Included in this category are events such as the Dirty Girl and Color Run 5K events to Run For Your Lives, a property that bills itself as “the world’s first zombie-infested obstacle race experience.”

“The past year has seen an abundance of new endurance sports events, which in turn has opened up new sponsorship inventory,” Chipps said.

About IEG, LLC
IEG leads the way in sponsorship solutions. With over 30 years providing insights, evaluation, and guidance, our teams bring unparalleled perspective and proven methodology to every challenge.

We partner with top brands and properties to create fresh strategies, evaluate opportunities and maximize results. Our clients rise above competitors, meaningfully engage audiences and achieve lasting impact.

A unit of WPP’s GroupM, IEG is connected to specialty sibling communications companies in media, digital and activation. GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation that also serves as parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare.

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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