Nov 05, 2009 at 02:23 PM
written by

IEG: Marathon Sponsorship Up 2.5% in '09

Have an affluent demo and a new way of bundling sponsorship inventory allowed marathon properties to increase their sponsorship take in '09, in the wake of a relatively flat to down overall environment? That's what IEG says, although a projected 2.5% increase is still significantly down from the 9% increase IEG forecasted for marathon sponsorships from '07 to '08.

Chicago, Ill. (PRWEB) November 5, 2009 -- North American-based companies will spend an estimated $86.1 million to sponsor marathons, triathlons, 10Ks and other running events this year, a 2.5 percent increase from the $84 million spent in '08, according to IEG, the world's leading authority on sponsorship.

While the projection is down significantly from the nearly 9 percent increase in spending from '07 to '08, it outpaces IEG's expected .7 percent spending increase on overall sponsorship of sports properties.

The reason: Increasingly sophisticated sponsorship sales techniques by marathons and other types of running events, as well as the upscale demographic of runners and other endurance sports athletes.

"Corporate marketers continue to be enthralled by endurance sports' affluent participant base," said William Chipps, senior editor of IEG Sponsorship Report.

Corporate interest also has been fueled by a new player on the scene: Competitor Group Inc. New York City-based private equity firm Falconhead Capital, LLC formed CGI in January '08 following its acquisition of four media and event companies in the endurance sports space: Competitor Publishing, Elite Racing, Triathlete Magazine and Inside Communications.

The acquisitions gave CGI a number of assets - including the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, the Muddy Buddy Series, Inside Triathlon and Velo News - around which it is offering multi-dimensional marketing platforms.

Those packages have caught the interest of corporate marketers, with CGI this year securing new deals with Brooks Sports, Inc.; Nissan North America, Inc.; Amway Corp.'s Nutrilte vitamins; and MillerCoors, LLC's MGD64 brand.

Other new deals in '09 include The Procter & Gamble Co., which inked presenting status of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, and the Jamaica Tourist Board, which partnered with the Nautica New York City Triathlon. Manhattan's Hospital for Special Surgery and T-Mobile USA, Inc. both signed new deals with the ING New York City Marathon.