SBD/Issue 38/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Marketers Growing Fond Of Marathons, Especially Sunday's In N.Y.

Sunday's N.Y. Marathon Boasts 31 Sponsors, Up
From 29 Last Year, Including Title Partner ING

With interest in marathons "at an all-time high, marketers are increasingly trying to keep pace and get in front of what's considered a highly desirable consumer," and "nowhere is this more apparent" than at Sunday's ING N.Y. Marathon, according to Aris Georgiadis of AD AGE. N.Y. Road Runners "counts 31 sponsors among its partners" for Sunday's race, up from 29 last year. For ING, which became the N.Y. Marathon's first title sponsor in '03, the race has "been an ideal way for the marketer to reach its target consumer." ING America CMO Ann Glover: "The parallels between running and preparing for your financial future speaks to our customers." She added that "from a demographic and psychographic standpoint, the marathon touches all quadrants." Georgiadis notes one of the "main focal points" for the N.Y. Marathon is the pre-race Health & Fitness Expo, where sponsors get "prominent placement." Every race participant "must pass through the free expo to collect their racing bibs, so the NYRR creates a huge retail experience for runners and fans of running." But even though the marathon has "attracted many partners," NYRR Exec VP/Business Development Ann Crandall said that her organization "is selective." Crandall: "Partners have to believe in what we're doing as an organization and give back to runners" (AD AGE, 11/1 issue).

SUBWAY'S FRESH TAKE: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes with Sunday's race "now just days away, sponsors are starting to support their investment, none more broadly than Subway, the official training partner of the race." Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle is competing in the marathon and the QSR is "leveraging what has been largely a regional event with national TV buys on major sports media platforms, such as the NFL and MLB postseason, along with a radio campaign and Fogle point-of-sales advertising in all 23,000 of its U.S. stores." Lefton notes while "all the support isn't in the market yet, there have been suggestions from more than one marketer that Subway is out-marketing ING" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/1 issue). Meanwhile, Diamond Foods announced yesterday that its Emerald nut brand will continue to sponsor the final five miles of the ING N.Y. Marathon, where the Emerald street team shares product samples with spectators along the course (Diamond Foods).

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