January 26, 2010: Honda Motor has signed a three-year deal to become the first title sponsor in the 25-year history of the Los Angeles Marathon. Honda has been a presenting sponsor of the event since 1995. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 25th anniversary running of the Honda Los Angeles Marathon is scheduled for March 25 on a newly reconfigured "Stadium to the Sea" race course will begin at Dodger Stadium and finish overlooking the Pacific Ocean near the Santa Monica Pier.
In addition to naming rights for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 events, the deal includes expanded Honda signage, advertising and a digital media presence; and activation at the pre-race Expo, celebrations that will be held in neighborhoods along the course, and at a finish line festival. As in years past, both the male and female winners of the Honda LA Marathon will receive a new Honda automobile in addition to a cash prize.
The two organizations have agreed to work together toward building the race's charitable component.
Other marketing partners include K-Swiss, Emerald Nuts, New Performance Nutrition and Don Francisco's Coffee.
The event has undergone numerous changes since its rights were acquired in 2008 by group headed by Frank McCourt, who also owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, including ramping up marketing activation. The new route will make it more visible as it takes runners through such locations as Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Organizers said that registration for the race is on record pace en route to a cap of 25,000 runners. McCourt was honored earlier this month by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce for his role in moving the LA Marathon race course so that it ends in Santa Monica.
"For the past 14 years, we've been honored to be affiliated with this great competition and with the manner in which it brings together the entire greater Los Angeles community," Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co., based in Torrance, Calif., said in a statement. "The new course shows off some of the best of what Los Angeles has to offer, and is sure to make the Honda LA Marathon an outstanding, signature event for the running world, for spectators, and for Southern California alike."
According to Russ Pillar, president of LA Marathon LLC, "Honda's commitment to the local community is both wide and deep. Having such a distinguished title sponsor reflects the significant changes we've made to deliver a great event for all of Los Angeles."
2010 Honda Los Angeles Marathon "Stadium to the Sea" Route: