SBD/May 17, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dick's Sporting Goods Extends Sponsorship Of Pittsburgh Marathon Through '21

Dick's Sporting Goods and Pittsburgh Marathon officials announced last Friday that they "have agreed to a 10-year sponsorship deal that will keep the two names linked until 2021," according to Michael Sanserino of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The Pittsburgh-based sports retailer "has been the race's title sponsor since the marathon was revived in 2009 after a five-year hiatus." The two sides "started discussions last summer to renew the existing agreement." Marathon officials "submitted an initial proposal, and Dick's Sporting Goods countered with an offer that added years to the agreement" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 5/14). In Pittsburgh, Karen Price noted Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon organizers "plan to focus on making the race a topnotch, smoothly run event." Race Dir Patrice Matamoros said, "We're going to deliver a race that people want to run, that people want to get into the Pittsburgh Marathon." Registration for this year's marathon, which was run Sunday, "was capped and sold out" at 18,000 participants, up from 16,000 in '10 and 10,500 in '09. Matamoros said that "while the 'big picture' plan is to increase the numbers, organizers are almost at critical mass." She stressed that the "emphasis is going to be on avoiding problems that can arise when an event becomes too big, too fast." Marathon emcee Rudy Novotny said that the 10-year sponsorship agreement "is remarkable." Novotny: "Sponsor dollars are still down in this economy, so to see Dick's step up and sign not a three-year or a five-year but a 10-year deal, it's absolutely unheard of. It means that the marathon can continue to grow and gives them an opportunity to serve not just the community but runners as well" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 5/14).
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