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Abbott signs up as World Marathon Majors’ first title sponsor

Global healthcare company Abbott has agreed a deal to become the first-ever title sponsor of the World Marathon Majors group of elite marathon races.

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it was confirmed that from 2015, the series will be known as the Abbott World Marathon Majors. The six-event series comprises marathon events in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

Operating under its ‘Life. To The Fullest’ brand line, Abbott will use its various race activation initiatives to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Activites will include a pre-race presence, employee engagement such as on-course cheer zones as well as event and on-course signage.

“Abbott has always been about delivering the enabling power of health so that people – in all places, aspects and stages of life – can achieve more and live not just longer but better,” Abbott’s senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, Paul Magill, said. “This partnership is an important building block for us as we build our corporate identity around the world.”

Carey Pinkowski, executive race director of the Chicago Marathon, added: “As a company that helps people around the globe achieve their goals through better health, Abbott is a natural fit as the first ever title sponsor of the World Marathon Majors.”

The appointment of Abbott as title sponsor comes after the WMM in July agreed a long-term partnership with the Infront Sports & Media agency to develop the series’ first-ever integrated sponsorship platform. Under the agreement, Infront has been supporting WMM’s marketing operations while utilising its expertise in the active lifestyle sector to build the WMM brand, alongside a new commercialisation strategy.

The most recent WMM event was the Chicago Marathon. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Rita Jeptoo won the men’s and women’s races, respectively, on Sunday.

The London, Berlin, Chicago and New York Marathons have individual title sponsorship deals with Virgin Money, BMW, Bank of America and Tata Consultancy Services, respectively. These are set to stay in place under the Abbott agreement.