Jan 26, 2011 at 05:15 PM
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John Hancock Issues Press Release To Say It Will Continue To Tweet

This may be pushing the bounds of what is newsworthy. Then again, since we're writing about it, perhaps it worked. Nevertheless, it seems like John Hancock's PR team could've come up with a better angle for activation of what by all accounts is an amazing partnership with the Boston Marathon. Here's the presser:

In celebration of its 26th year as the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial's Twitter site @JHFS_Boston26 will continue to provide tweets about the 2011 Boston Marathon and related activities to followers and marathon enthusiasts.

After launching a year ago the site has proven highly successful, gaining followers that include Olympians, elite marathoners, coaches, and fans of the sport. Content will continue to include tweets on John Hancock's partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, the John Hancock Elite Athlete Program, Non-Profit and Employee Running and Fundraising Programs, and Marathon community initiatives.

"On April 18, the eyes of the world once again will be focused on Boston, and we hope that leading up to race day our Twitter feed will prove useful, informative and entertaining," said Rob Friedman, head of Sponsorship and Event Marketing at John Hancock. "From sharing when Ryan Hall, Kara Goucher or Desi Davila are out training on the Boston Marathon course to letting followers know what makes this event special to non-profit community runners, we want to add to the unique appeal of the world's preeminent and oldest marathon."

John Hancock began its landmark sponsorship in 1986 and over the past 26 years has provided substantial financial support to ensure the ongoing success of the race. Each year, John Hancock recruits and sponsors a world-class, elite athlete field for the race and has provided more than $13 million in prize and bonus awards.

John Hancock employees volunteer to help with marathon-related tasks and also participate in the race to raise money for local charities. In 2010, nearly 1,000 John Hancock non-profit runners raised more than $4.3 million for local organizations. This fundraising and volunteer effort was part of Hancock's $11.2 million and 10,000 volunteer hours of total support given to Boston area non-profit and community service programs in 2010.