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Volume 21 No. 1
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Shamrock Sports to handle marketing for Boston Marathon

Shamrock Sports and Entertainment has signed a three-year deal with the Boston Athletic Association to handle marketing and sponsorship development for the group’s events and programs, including the Boston Marathon.

Shamrock is the first agency ever hired to market the famed marathon.
The deal was expected to be announced this week. Financial terms were not available.

Shamrock becomes the first agency ever hired to market what is the world’s oldest marathon. Industry veteran Brian Corcoran, a two-time Boston Marathon participant, founded the Portland, Maine-based sports marketing and sales agency in 2010. He said the immediate plan is to use this year’s 116th running of the marathon, April 16, to pitch marketing opportunities for other BAA properties, particularly a title sponsorship to the BAA Distance Medley, a 5K, 10K and half-marathon series, as well as an environmental sustainability program for all of BAA’s events.

The BAA’s decision to seek outside help came in part from a desire for the organization to get back to its roots of promoting not just running but overall fitness.

“The BAA, like many old sports organizations, had a period of time where economics were unfavorable, and we were really in a hand-to-mouth situation,” said Tom Grilk, BAA executive director. “In more recent years, we have developed spectacular partnership arrangements, and we find ourselves with the means to do more — not just to put on a big event, but to promote health and fitness.”

Yearlong sponsorship revenue has become increasingly important to the BAA. The nonprofit organization reported $10.6 million in revenue for the year ending June 30, 2010, according to its most recent tax return, filed in May 2011.