Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
October 5, 2015: Claiming that it is New York City’s "biggest block party,” Spike Lee has been named Grand Marshal of the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon, scheduled to take place on Sunday, Nov. 1.
Lee will be just the third Grand Marshal in the NYC Marathon's 45-year history.
As the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon Grand Marshal, Lee will participate in numerous race-week festivities. That includes the TCS New York City Marathon Opening Ceremony presented by United Airlines; contributing to the live race broadcast on WABC-TV and ESPN2; and riding with Peter Ciaccia, president of events for New York Road Runners and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon, in the Grand Marshal vehicle through the 26.2-mile marathon route on race day.
According to Lee, who grew up in Brooklyn, “I’m honored to represent New York City, the greatest city on Earth, at one of the world’s most recognizable sporting events. When my kids were younger, on race day, we would walk outside of my 40 Acres and a Mule office right into the marathon crowd. There’s such a New York sense of community around the race. It’s New York City’s biggest block party.”
In addition to title sponsor Tata Consultancy Services, marketing partners for the Marathon include Abbott, Airbnb, Asics, Dunkin' Donuts, Foot Locker, Gatorade, Poland Springs, PowerBar, Snyder's. Tiffany and UPS.
“When we looked at having a Grand Marshal for this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, we envisioned someone the world would immediately recognize as a sports enthusiast and quintessential New Yorker, and Spike was the perfect fit,” said Capiraso in a statement of Lee, who is a New York University tenured film professor, writer-director, actor, producer and author. “We’re honored to have Spike representing our runners, volunteers, spectators, partners, city agencies, and staff at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon.”
The marathon’s first Grand Marshal was in 1979, when Czech running legend Emil Zatopek was given the honor. In 2003, marathon icon Grete Waitz of Norway became the Marathon’s second Grand Marshal.
According to Ciaccia. “As Grand Marshal, Spike will lead runners from over 125 countries and all 50 states on a one-of-a-kind tour through the neighborhoods of the five boroughs, from Staten Island to Fort Greene Brooklyn, through Queens, up Manhattan’s First Avenue to the Boogie-Down Bronx and into Harlem before finishing in Central Park.”
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon broadcast is produced in partnership with IMG Productions.
The Marathon will be televised live on Nov. 1 on WABC-TV (Channel 7) in the New York Tri-State area (9: AM - 2 PM ET) and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 (9 AM.- 12:30 PM. ET). Additionally, the race will be available live in Spanish via ESPN Deportes+ and internationally via a variety of global broadcast partners.
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