Global healthcare company Abbott has renewed its title sponsorship of the World Marathon Majors group.
The new four-year agreement is effective from 2019 and runs until 2023. Abbott began sponsoring the group in 2015.
The AbbottWMM series comprises the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City marathons.
Since its sponsorship of the series began, Abbott has added a new recognition programme by creating a Six Star medal, which is awarded to runners who complete all six WMM marathons
Abbott also helped WMM launch an elite wheelchair series in 2016 and introduced a new charity initiative with $10,000 (€8,000) awarded to causes nominated on behalf of each race winner across the open and wheelchair divisions, bringing total series donations to $280,000.
In addition, WMM last year partnered with Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, which is helping the series search for three new races to join the WMM circuit. The process began in 2017 and is seeking to expand the series in Asia and Africa.
The start of Series XII in Berlin on September 16 will also mark the start of the Age Group World Rankings, which offers runners aged 40 and older the chance to earn ranking points to qualify for the first Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships in 2020.
Tim Hadzima, general manager of AbbottWMM, said: “With Abbott's help, we will continue to push forward in pursuit of our goals, chief among them to promote the sport of marathon running throughout the globe. The first four years of our partnership is just the start, and with the new races and initiatives coming, the next four promise to be even more exciting."