ING Out As N.Y. Marathon Title Sponsor, With BMW Among Rumored Replacements
ING last week officially informed the N.Y. Road Runners that it is "exiting as title sponsor" of the N.Y. Marathon after a 10-year run, according to sources cited by Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The ING moniker will "remain on the event this year." Sources said that there are "a surprising number of potential sponsors kicking the tires of a new title deal," to which the NYRR has affixed an asking price of $10M annually "for a deal that would span a decade." One brand "being mentioned" is BMW. Meanwhile, NYRR is "looking to sell five, low-seven-figure 'Founding Partner' sponsorships, and its current roster of 40 to 50 sponsors will be winnowed to a more manageable number" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/22 issue). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sara Germano reported still "unfilled are about half of the 8,200 slots reserved in the marathon for so-called charity runners, who earn their bibs by raising thousands of dollars apiece for philanthropic causes." The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society sent out an e-mail which read in part, "We are looking at a recruitment deficit of over 250 participants, which equates to roughly $1 million in lost revenue." NYRR VP/Development & Philanthropy Michael Rodgers said, "Across the board, many of our large charity programs' allotment is filling slower than in years past." He added that most charities are "at about 50% capacity ... with close to 15 weeks left until the race." Charity runners who "raised large amounts to earn spots in last year's race received from NYRR the offer of guaranteed entry into this year's race, without having to raise any additional funds for charity." That is "likely one reason for the soft demand for charity spots this year." Rodgers said that some "64% of runners who had entered the 2012 race through a charity program have elected to run in 2013" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/19).