The growth of marathon events around the world is no coincidence.
Athletes produce inspiring performances, the sport’s message is socially positive, and organisers push hard to grow participants and fans around the world.
September and October 2019 saw some of the most incredible stories of track and field. Geoffrey Kamworor shattering the half marathon world record in Copenhagen. Brigid Kosgei in Boston taking the 13-year women’s marathon record from Paula Radcliffe. And the INEOS 1.59 triumph of Eliud Kipchoge. A performance likened by many to the Moon Landing.
No human is limited
Kipchoge’s mantra reflects what this sport represents. These athletes train like no other and run like the wind, their dedication inspires people to take part, improve their health and build physical and mental resilience.
Marathon participants grew by a staggering 49.43% in the last 10 years with almost 1.3 million finishers worldwide. The age bracket widened and the number of female participants is growing faster than males.
Healthy market growth and a positive message are a powerful combination that draws brands in, particularly if the sport is able to attract interesting demographics: a study in the USA by GCI Data shows that runners tend to be loyal to brands, 79% college-educated, with a median household income of $112,000.
Events organisers need to take a significant part of the credit for this success. Planning and managing these organisational behemoths requires a high level of competence, with years in the making and with so many parts that need to fall in place to produce success on the day and sustainable financial impact beyond.
A growing popularity on screen
We could talk about racecourse design, security, traffic control, relationships with local authorities, athletes entries etc. but these are not fields which we will pretend to be experts in.
Instead, as a company who helps event organisers, marketing agencies and sponsors to produce and deliver standout sports branding and signage, we have to acknowledge the growing importance of this sport from a broadcasting perspective.
Eliud Kipchoge’s triumphant attempt to run a sub-two-hour marathon is a testimony of this. It has received over 5 million views on YouTube alone and was watched by a global audience. With 49 broadcasters airing live to over 200 territories, and an estimate of 500 million viewers.
INEOS 1:59 and Kipchoge’s social media channels made a combined 39.8 million views and 2.6 million engagements on the event day. Never mind the 120,000 who crowded the streets of Vienna.
?? Local authorities estimated 120K fans lined the streets of the Prater on Saturday.
— INEOS 1:59 Challenge (@INEOS159) October 14, 2019
Branding that cuts through the clutter
With this kind of figures, it is important to offer sponsors an array of opportunities they can leverage. In over 20 years of pioneering work, innovating and delivering 3D sports advertising solutions around the world, we developed specific products for running events.
Our 3D branded runway carpets, for instance, bring vibrant colours and impactful branding on camera for the start and finish lines. These aren’t just important for producing the winners’ iconic pictures that get picked up by the media. They are the fulcrum of the whole event for participants, excited fans and people watching at home.
A must-have asset that can be integrated with our wide range of large format branding solutions for the crucial areas of the racecourse.
Read more about Branded Runway Carpets and how they can be used in sponsorship activation.
“Amayse felt carpets are the icing on the cake for the whole start and finish area. It’s a striking and professionally executed solution that creates an extraordinary visual experience in the main area of the event.”
Dorte Vibjerg, Managing Director, Sparta Atletik & Motion
The CPH Half 2019 welcomed 25,000 registered participants this year, the first time that the event has been fully sold out. The city got behind the athletes and the overall event ran perfectly smoothly.
“We always encourage our clients to plan ahead and get our advice on how to make the most of their venues. We feel that marathon racecourses have a lot of powerful, yet unexplored, advertising possibilities.” Sejer Aagaard, Head of International Sales & Marketing, Amayse
Our consultative approach
Through our consultations, we advise on what works best to capture the attention of people watching at home and the general public attending on the day. We produce simulations that can help sponsors to visualise the impact they are going to make, so event organisers can put together a stronger business case for their potential sponsors.
And when the world’s greatest figures turn their attention to track and field’s inspiring achievements, it’s worth leaving no stone unturned in delivering value.
Yesterday, marathoner Eliud Kipchoge became the first ever to break two hours. Today in Chicago, Brigid Kosgei set a new women’s world record. Staggering achievements on their own, they’re also remarkable examples of humanity’s ability to endure—and keep raising the bar.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 13, 2019