Although the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon have already had a significant impact on marathons and other types of events—namely increased security—most sponsorship veterans expect the incident to have little impact on sponsorship spending in the endurance sports space more
With marathon season underway, one specific sponsorship jumped out at me. Arcadia Brewing Company, a Michigan-based craft beer brewery, is partnering with the inaugural Kalamazoo Marathon. According to marathon coordinator Karen Townsend, one of the first questions she received from the runners is whether there was going to be beer at the finish line tent. Instead of just filling the category and providing beer to runners and spectators, Arcadia Brewing really stepped up. Not only is the brewer sponsoring the event, but it will also be creating a special-edition ale (called Finish Line Ale) specifically for the event. more
Looking back at the season for marathons, triathlons and other endurance events that unofficially wrapped up last month with the ING New York City Marathon, it’s clear that sponsors have tuned into the many benefits and opportunities that make those events unique and desirable properties. They offer sponsors access to an engaged, passionate audience; often economical rights fees; opportunities for creative and meaningful activation; and opportunities to highlight a company’s social corporate responsibility efforts. more
This is the fifth year I have taught in Northwestern University’s graduate program in sports management, but the first year I have integrated guests into the syllabus throughout the course, and it has been great. more
Since 2008, Amica Insurance, based in Rhode Island, has really stepped up its marketing activity around participatory sports events, specifically triathlons and marathons. In 2010, Amica is the title sponsor of no less than 13 events across the U.S., including a series of 10 sprint distance triathlons, an Ironman 70.3 and two marathons. What is also interesting is that almost all of these events did not exist before 2008. more
In step with IEG’s projection that North American companies will increase their spending on marathons and running events by 2.5 percent in 2009 (to an estimated $86.1 million), I had the pleasure of participating in an inaugural half marathon event on November 22nd.
The first-time event—the Women’s Running magazine Women’s Half Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society—was held in St. Petersburg, Florida. While I was first and foremost there as a charity runner, I had plenty of time on and off the course to check out the sponsorship activity. While my running resume is by no means prolific (especially compared to IEG’s resident ultramarathoner Shan Riggs), I have participated in enough races of varying distances, sizes and sponsor profiles to know the drill. more
With the Bank of America Chicago Marathon behind us, sights are set on the next major event on the running calendar: November’s ING New York City Marathon.
Unlike those who are particularly adept runners (my running style has occasionally been compared to that of a Mack truck), I focus not on incredible feats of endurance but feats of sponsorship activation.
One of the best activation examples of the upcoming ING New York City Marathon comes to us courtesy of Toyota.
Perhaps inspired by Julie & Julia (book and movie) and “Yes Man” (movie - well, really I just saw the trailer over and over on TV), I decided earlier this week that I would say "yes" to all the sponsorship offers/requests that came my way. Unlike J & J or Jim Carrey's Yes Man character's year-long experiments, however, I only committed to 24 hours.
Monday, 9:30 PM: Called up the Westin/National Sleep Foundation hotline I've read so much about in the past week. I asked if there were different minimum recommended hours of sleep dependent on age, etc. Evidently, not really. I answered a series of questions and the hotline rep gave me a few answers. It felt a bit like searching the internet, only slower. Result: I would have liked a more consultative experience but it was free after all. I slept as well as I usually do. more
This post won’t be tagged under “deep insights,” but just an observation about a noteworthy sponsorship that could be replicated by other properties.
This coming weekend’s Ford Ironman Louisville event features sponsorship from the city-run Louisville Water Co. Given its role as the local water utility, LWC has come up with a unique way to supply the hundreds of gallons of water needed by the triathletes that eliminates the need for thousands of eco-unfriendly plastic bottles. The company will tap into its existing water lines and one mobile water trunk and provide 100-plus volunteers at nine stations with hoses to fill 125,000 cups of water.
LWC plans to use this model for other local events to which it currently supplies bottled tap water.
For properties that have not had success securing an official water sponsor, or for those seeking a sustainable alternative to bottled water, tapping into your local water utility may be a good way to go.
While many festivals, sports teams and other types of events have long had informal relationships with other properties, the economy has prompted more property-to-property collaboration than ever before.
Property-to-property relationships can either be full-blown sponsorships, or more informal “friend of the festival” types of partnerships.
Those types of relationships can often help properties promote their events to new audiences or generate business-building opportunities.