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Spending on Endurance Sports Rising

Prism Insight, October 30, 2008

By Richard Tedesco

Sponsorship spending on endurance sports such as marathons, will grow to $84 million among North American companies this year,according to the IEG Sponsorship Report.

That represents an 8.4% increase from the $77.5 million spent on marathons, triathlons, 10Ks and other running events last year.Last year's activity represented a 14% hike over the previous year.

The report noted that the ING New York City Marathon added four sponsors for this year's race, including Emerald Nuts, the Food Emporium and Widex USA, Inc.

"Unlike many other types of properties that are struggling due to the weak economy, corporate interest in marathons and other types of running events remains high due to the sports' desirable demographics," said William Chipps, the report's senior editor, in a statement.

Other recent deals in the marathon space include CIGNA Corp.'s presenting sponsorship of Walt Disney World Marathon;Foot Locker presenting Disney's Princess Half Marathon Weekend; BP's sponsorship of Washington, D.C.'s Marine Corps Marathon and Verizon Wireless' sponsorship of the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2Marathon.