The oldest and most famous marathon in the world is making room for advertising.
The 112th Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, and for the first time ever, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) will allow ads along the course, and the start and finish lines. The BAA has had longtime sponsors of the marathon that provide money, merchandise, fluid stations, etc., but this is the first time that some of these sponsors will have actual advertisements infiltrated with the race.
Guy Morse, executive director of the BAA told the Globe:
“We have been thinking about this for some time. In the year 2008, people understand you need sponsorship at this level to compete. For the BAA to provide the level of prize money and attract the elite athletes, and for the BAA to provide all the merchandise for 7,000 volunteers, you need corporate involvement and support to do that. It was time that we could make their support a little more visible.”
The Associated Press reported that prize money for the marathon has been increased by more than 38 percent, from $575,000 to $796,000, which makes the Boston Marathon the richest of the World Marathon Majors events.