SBJ/April 8-14, 2013/In Depth

Execs on the run

For these sports executives, the perfect day starts with a good run.

Dave Reeder

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, senior account executive for partnership marketing and media ad sales
Why I run: It helps give my life balance. Physically, it makes my management of Type 1 diabetes much easier to handle, and mentally it provides an hour of solitude I can’t get anywhere else.
Favorite event to compete in: ING New York City Marathon. The unbelievable energy, massive crowds and the fact that the run touches all five boroughs of New York make it an incredible experience.
Best time: I’m slow! Best time was a 4:47 marathon in Denver in 2011.
Events with best customer service/experience: I really like the Cherry Creek Sneak, which is a well-organized event that has a kids run, 5K, 5 mile and a 10 mile. It serves as the unofficial kickoff to running season in Denver with a collection of runners across all ages and skill levels.
Next event: Colorado Colfax Marathon in May (in Denver)



Reba Koppelman

Baltimore Ravens, assistant controller
Why I run: I started running to lose weight for our wedding eight years ago and I continued running mostly to maintain my weight and stay in shape.
Favorite event to compete in: Marathon. I don’t enjoy the training leading up to the marathon, but the accomplishment of finishing one is very rewarding. And then I get to eat whatever I want after the race.
Best time: 3:35:58
Events with best customer service/experience: Boston Marathon for the overall experience. The prestige of the Boston Marathon makes it such an honor to run in it. Not sure how I was included among so many elite runners.
Next event: Signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October 2013. But I will have to see if I can run in it when our schedule comes out in April. The race falls on a Sunday and we might have a home game that Sunday that I would have to work. If that race doesn’t work out then I will probably sign up for the Baltimore Marathon.



Eric Smallwood

Front Row Marketing, senior vice president
Why I run: I began running in October 2009 as a way to lose weight. I created a goal of running a 5K in the spring of 2010, but by mid-November I was running a 5K daily and building my time and speed up, so I looked at the calendar for half marathons and targeted the New Orleans Rock ’n’ Roll event. Running keeps me in shape, it allows me the time to think about all the different challenges and potential solutions while I am on a 5- or 10-mile run. In addition it provides me the opportunity to achieve goals, with the next race always being the target.
Favorite event to compete in: By far the 2011 ING New York City Marathon was the most exciting and largest race I have participated in, but the one that is tops is the Rock ’n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon. This was the site of my first half (2010) and my first full marathon (2011).
Best time: Half marathon: 1:42:56 (2010 Monumental Marathon, Indianapolis); Full marathon: 3:49:55 (2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon, New Orleans)
Events with best customer service/experience: ING New York City Marathon was great at all of the various touch points and interaction leading up to race day. Their app was great and provided all of the details needed without having to carry around the marathon guide, including great spectator maps. All of the races I have run in have progressively gotten better at connecting the runner with spectators through the texting of split times and other social media alerts.
Next event: 2013 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, in May



Brad Jones

Atlanta Braves, partnership services director
Why I run: I always run without music, so it is a chance to disconnect from the iPhone. Love exploring Atlanta and cities I visit, also.
Favorite event to compete in: The marathon. Love the long run, and it takes dedication and time management to train for one and finish. I am lucky my wife, Mitzi, supports my running habit.
Best time: 3:22:15
Events with best customer service/experience: Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon is very family friendly with kids’ activities available while you are out running. Experience-wise, New York City Marathon is No. 1 for me, but I hope to make the run down Ali’i Drive one day, which will require winning a spot via the Ironman lottery.
Next event: Peachtree Road Race 10K, July 4, 21st time; New York City Marathon, Nov. 3, 2nd New York City Marathon, 4th marathon



Erin LeBar

NFL, sponsorships manager
Why I run: There is such an overwhelming feeling of freedom that comes with running — I only need my shoes and the perfect playlist and I’m immediately lost in my own little world. I ran 4 miles the day my doctor cleared me to exercise after delivering my son; not the best idea in hindsight, but I missed it that bad!
Favorite event to compete in: The New Year’s Eve Midnight Run — nothing like bringing in the New Year running with my husband and thousands of New Yorkers with spectacular fireworks overhead!
Best time: I don’t really pay attention to my times — I run about an 8-minute mile during a 5K, though.
Events with best customer service/experience: I have to give love to the inaugural NFL Back To Football Run we did in partnership with New York Road Runners. NYRR lent their expertise and NFL fans brought the energy.
Next event: Signing up for the Women’s Mini 10K in Central Park as part of “Moms In Training” (an offshoot of Team in Training) honoring my mom who is a 7x (yes, 7 times!) leukemia survivor.



AJ Faxel

ANC Sports Enterprises, VP operations, client services
Why I run: The challenge and dedication it takes to complete events makes finishing them extremely rewarding.
Favorite event to compete in: The New York City Marathon. Whoever has the opportunity to run the marathon will understand why when running down the 59th Street bridge into Manhattan. There is no other feeling like it in the world.
Best time: Half-marathon 1:45
Events with best customer service/experience: The New York City Marathon does an outstanding job of creating a competition that is unmatched in individual athletics. However, it also does an exceptional job of creating an atmosphere which is enjoyable, rewarding and inviting for the amateur athlete that is simply trying to finish, not win.
Next event: New York City half-marathon, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17



David Samson
Photo by: Florida Marlins / Robert Vigon

Miami Marlins, president
Why I run: In addition to maintaining my fitness, running is the only time during the day that I get to be by and with myself.
Favorite event to compete in: Any event with a starting line and a finish line, though the New York City Marathon is always a highlight.
Best time: Sub 4 hour. My personal best marathon was the 2010 New York City Marathon: 3:55:27.
Events with best customer service/experience: The Boston Marathon is the best-run race I have ever participated in. It is organized, efficient, the volunteers are friendly, and the race director, Dave
McGillivray, is the best in the world.







Photo by: Major League Soccer
Joshua Neier

MLS, senior finance director
Why I run: It’s physically rewarding and there is always a new challenge to conquer, but it’s also the best way to escape and clear my mind.
Favorite event to compete in: There is nothing that compares to the challenge and satisfaction of finishing the marathon.
Best time: 3:18 — 2012 Philadelphia Marathon
Events with best customer service/experience: New York City Marathon — NYRR puts on a world-class event from start to finish. The crowd support and course are both amazing. There is no other sporting event like it.
Next event: Big Sur Marathon in April







Mark Plutzer

MLB Advanced Media, vice president of ticketing
Why I run: The challenge of pushing myself.
Favorite event to compete in: Tie — Paine to Pain Trail Half-Marathon and New York City Marathon. Paine to Pain is an awesome event for trail running and the New York City Marathon is the best sporting event that anyone can enter.
Best time: 23:54, Heart & Sole Plainview 5K
Next event: Brooklyn Half-Marathon










Matt Wikstrom

Wasserman Media Group, executive VP, action sports and Olympics
Why I run: It’s so efficient for exercise!
Favorite event to compete in: Chilmark Road Race 5K in Martha’s Vineyard
Best time: 17:30
Events with best customer service/experience: New York City Triathlon. They personally contact each participant, and are so organized from a logistics standpoint.
Next event: On the bike these days — Tour of the Battenkill










Brennan Feldhausen

Baltimore Orioles, corporate partnerships account manager
Why I run: I’ve been running my whole life and have met some incredible people and been to some amazing places as a result of it. Running allows me to lace up my shoes at any time from anywhere to escape for a while — or catch up with friends!
Favorite event to compete in: The marathon. I’ve done six and one ultra.
Best time: 2:42:01 (SunTrust National Marathon — 2009), 1:13:40 (Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half-Marathon 2010)
Events with best customer service/experience: ING New York City Marathon. NYRR does an incredible job to take care of all 40,000-plus athletes on hand. My favorite race by far as a result.
Next event: Boston Marathon, April 15



Tom Beusse
USA Today Sports Media Group, president
Why I run: It’s the only time in the day that I get completely to myself. No phone calls, no emails, and I don’t run with music. It’s just me, and it gives me a chance to just completely clear my head. Plus, it gives you short-term goals to work toward. Your whole life is spent making long-term plans — planning for retirement, planning for where the kids are going to attend school — but you can train to run a marathon in three to four months.
Favorite event to compete in: It has to be the New York City Marathon. It’s the one day in the year that New York feels like a small town.
Best time: 3:30 (at NYC)
Events with best customer service/experience: Well, New York is just an unbelievable experience. But I can’t wait to experience Boston because everyone says there’s nothing else like it.
Next event: I’m running Boston this April to help raise money for the Family Reach Fund, which provides resources to families of children with cancer.

Note: Executives responded to questions via email.



Largest U.S. marathons

Rank

Marathon (city)

Finishers

1

ING New York City Marathon

46,795*

2

Bank of America (Chicago)

37,475

3

Honolulu

24,069

4

Marine Corps (Washington, D.C.)

23,519

5

Boston

21,616

6

Honda (Los Angeles)

18,919

7

Walt Disney World (Orlando)

13,524

8

Philadelphia

11,635

9

Medtronic Twin Cities

8,783

 

(Minneapolis-St. Paul)

 

10

Chevron (Houston)

7,614

World’s largest marathons

Rank

Marathon (city)

Finishers

1

ING New York City Marathon

46,795*

2

Bank of America (Chicago)

37,475

3

Virgin (London)

36,705

4

Tokyo

34,656

5

BMW (Berlin)

34,348

6

Paris

32,980

7

Osaka

27,157

8

Honolulu

24,069

9

Marine Corps (Washington, D.C.)

23,519

10

Boston

21,616

* All figures are for 2012 except for the ING New York City Marathon. That event last year was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, so 2011 figures are shown.
Source: Running USA based on data from Athlinks (2009-12) and Active.com (2005-08)

Going the distance: Estimated U.S. marathon finishers

Year

Marathon finishers

1976

25,000

1980

143,000

1990

224,000

1995

293,000

2000

353,000

2005

395,000

2006

410,000

2007

412,000

2008

425,000

2009

467,000

2010

507,000

Source: Running USA based on data from Athlinks (2009-12) and Active.com (2005-08)



Running/Jogging participation trends (000s)

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

1-year Change

5-year Change

Casual (1-49 times)

16,824

17,276

18,031

20,039

21,409

+6.8%

+27.3%

Regular (50-99 times)

8,237

8,333

8,771

9,220

9,644

+4.6%

+17.1%

Frequent (100+ times)

16,003

15,489

15,710

17,392

19,008

+9.3%

+18.8%

Total participation (at least once per year)

41,064

41,098

42,512

46,651

50,061

+7.3%

+21.9%

Core participants (50+ times)

24,240

23,822

24,481

26,612

28,652

+7.7%

+18.2%

Source: SFIA 2012 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report

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