By Barry Janoff
August 27, 2015: Skechers continues to make inroads into territory generally occupied by its rivals, signing a multi-year partnership to become the title sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon.
The next race, now known as the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. It would be the 31st running of the event, the origin of which was inspired by the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles.
The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon will take place a day after Los Angeles hosts the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s and Women’s Marathon in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
NBC, which will air the Olympics, plans to broadcast the Olympic Team Trials nationally.
Both events are being finalized even as the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the Los Angeles City Council and other local and state politicians are deciding on whether to accept the U.S. Olympic Committee's proposal to name Los Angeles as the city to represent the U.S. in a potential bid to host the 2024 Summer Games.
The International Olympic Committee's deadline for bid submissions is Sept. 15. Los Angeles would replace Boston as the USOC nominee.
Financial terms of Skechers alliance for its Perfomance division with the Los Angeles Marathon were not released. Skechers replaces Asics, which held title sponsor rights for the previous two events.
Other marketing partners include Gatorade, UPS, Clif Bar and Big 5 Sporting Goods.
According to Michael Greenberg, president for Skechers. “Partnering with the Los Angeles Marathon is a strategic step forward for our company and the Performance division. As a Los Angeles-based business, we have always wanted to be a part of this iconic race since we began developing our performance footwear division and we could not be more thrilled to join the Los Angeles Marathon as title sponsor.”
Among other alliances, Skechers is the official footwear and apparel sponsor for the Chevron Houston Marathon and sponsors elite marathon runners Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher.
Keflezighi plans to compete in Los Angeles wearing the new Skechers GOmeb Speed 3, during both the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s and Women’s Marathon and the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.
Skechers also has deals that include Joe Montana, Pete Rose, Ringo Starr, Meghan Trainor, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mariano Rivera.
According to Gary Zenkel, president for NBC Olympics, “The Road to Rio will begin on the streets of Los Angeles as we start our U.S. Olympic Team Trials coverage with an unprecedented live presentation of the men’s and women’s marathon. This is a great start to our deepest U.S. Trials coverage ever.”
“Not only is it a great honor for Los Angeles to host the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon, it’s another opportunity to demonstrate to the country and the world exactly why Los Angeles is quickly becoming the capital of premiere endurance sports in the United States,” Tracey Russell, LA Marathon LLC, said in a statement. “We’re very pleased to announce that NBC will be broadcasting the Trials live and that millions of viewers will be joining us to witness the country’s best marathoners pursue their Olympic dreams here on the streets of Los Angeles.”
Under terms of their pact, Skechers Performance will have a prominent presence at all Marathon week activities, including the Los Angeles Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. There, Skechers Performance plans to sell official race merchandise featuring the newly created Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon event logo.
In addition, Skechers Performance will outfit course volunteers and staff, and provide finishers’ shirts for all runners.
"Much like the City of Los Angeles itself, Skechers is an iconic, global, and stylish brand and we are extremely pleased to announce this new partnership."
The brand plans to have "comprehensive and integrated" Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon marketing and communications initiatives leading up to and during the race, to include the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon Web site and app.
The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon "Stadium to Sea" route begins at Dodger Stadium and ends on Santa Monica Blvd. at the Pacific Ocean. Among the iconic areas and destinations through which the Marathon passes are Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood & Vine, TLC (formerly Grauman's) Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica Pier.
“Much like the City of Los Angeles itself, Skechers is an iconic, global, and stylish brand and we are extremely pleased to announce this new partnership on the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon,” said Russell. “Skechers has achieved prominence across the global endurance sports market and we look forward to delivering a world-class marathon experience together here in Los Angeles and to collaborating on exciting new initiatives across the U.S. and around the world.”
Other cities that have declared their intention to bid on the 2024 Summer Games include Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome. The IOC is scheduled to name the 2024 Olympics host city in 2017.
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