By Barry Janoff
March 15, 2017: The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon may focus on running, but it has made room to put Hyundai Motor America in the driver’s seat as the event’s official automotive partner.
Hyundai said it would use partnership to support its Ioniq Hybrid and Electric, which the automaker called "an important milestone in Hyundai's global sustainability strategy" and said is "the first vehicle in the world to offer three distinct electrified powertrains on a single, dedicated vehicle platform."
The deal includes "a wide range of race week activations through which runners and spectators will have the opportunity to experience the Ioniq."
On race day, March 19, the Ioniq Hybrid will serve as the lead car for the pro men's and women's fields. More than 25,000 people are expected to take part in the Marathon.
The vehicle will be showcased at the starting line at Dodger Stadium and at the finish line near the Santa Monica Pier, as well as at the Finish Festival.
In addition, Hyundai have a presence in the Health & Fitness Expo, where an Ioniq will be on display and Hyundai will give away branded items.
Financial terms were not shared.
Why the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon?
"Ioniq will attract an entirely new group of eco- and efficiency-oriented buyers in the U.S. market," Mike O'Brien, vp-corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America, with headquarters about 100 miles up the coast in Santa Barbara, Calif., said in a statement.
In addition to title sponsor Skechers, partners include Big 5 Sporting Goods, Fitbit, Air France, Muscle Milk, Clif, Angel City Brewery, Keck Medicine of USC, Gatorade Endurance, UPS, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and the City of Beverly Hills.
Many groups are planning to use the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon — which begins at Dodger Stadium and ends near the Santa Monica Pier — as a platform to reach consumers and other brands.
Among them: LA2024, nearly 90 charities, Guinness World Records and the World Baseball Classic, which will promote the Final Four and championship games in Dodger Stadium, scheduled for March 21 and March 22, respectively.
Why the L.A. Marathon? "Ioniq will attract an entirely new group of eco- and efficiency-oriented buyers in the U.S. market."
"One special event we are attaching ourselves to is the Los Angeles Marathon," Erin Sloneker, director, marketing partnerships, international for MLB, told NYSportsJournalism. “We will have a table set up and other activation during the Marathon to get people excited about the WBC games coming there the next week.
"We also will be present during the (LA Big 5 Sporting Goods) 5K (on March 18), which beings and ends at Dodger Stadium," said Sloneker.
According to Sheri Wish, vp-business development for Conqur Endurance Group, the organizer of the race, "Partnering with a world-renowned and reputable automotive manufacturer like Hyundai further enhances our collaboration with leading brands and is a great addition to our expanding portfolio of global partners.”
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