Megabus.com is putting the sponsorship pedal to the metal.

The express intercity bus service has signed new deals with the Sept. 16 Inaugural Navy-Air Force Half Marathon and Navy 5 Miler in Washington, D.C. and the Jan. 5, 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

In addition, Megabus.com has extended its two-year-old sponsorship of Philadelphia’s ODDyssey Half Marathon with a new three-year contract.

The unit of Paramus, N.J.-based Coach USA, Inc. is expanding its portfolio to support its national expansion and growing customer base.

The company, which launched service in the U.S. market in 2006, plans to announce its 20th million customer within the next few weeks. Coach USA is a unit of StageCoach Group plc, a Perth, U.K.-based bus and train operator.

“We’re always looking for ways to expose our brand to new audiences,” said Mike Alvich, vice president of marketing for Coach USA/Megabus.com.

Megabus.com—which targets young professionals, college students, women, seniors and other budget-conscious travelers—focuses on properties located in new and existing hub markets.

For example, Megabus.com aligned with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl to build its presence in Texas, a market it entered in June with a new hub that covers the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio triangle.  

Megabus.com also operates hubs in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

The company activates sponsorship to drive new business and promote its on-board amenities.

For example, Megabus.com activated the May 26 ODDyssey Half Marathon by parking a bus near the marathon’s finish line. Runners could use the vehicle’s Wi-Fi service to update their Facebook page and email their finish time to friends and family.

To drive new business, Megabus.com offered a dedicated shuttle for runners who live in New York City. It also offered a free shuttle service to Fairmount Park—the site of the event—from downtown Philadelphia.

“We came up with the idea of creating a shuttle that would make the race more accessible to runners and give Megabus.com the opportunity to highlight how nice their buses are,” said Carl Ewald, ODDyssey’s executive director, who cold-called Megabus.com in 2010.

Runners and their fans could book seats on the buses through a link on www.OddysseyHalfMarathon.com. The web site exposure was valuable to Megabus.com, said Alvich, noting that 98 percent of customers book tickets online.

And the programs resonated with runners. Megabus.com this year received 93.8 percent awareness as a result of its on-site activation, said Ewald.

“We look for ways to showcase sponsors while improving the runners’ experience. That’s the key to creating memorable sponsorships.”  

Coach USA sponsors the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, Pepperdine University Athletics and other sports teams on behalf of its regional carriers. The company uses the ties to provide charter service for teams and fans, said Alvich.