Menu

NYRR gets new sponsor for Brooklyn Half Marathon

By Chris Smith

New York Road Runners has signed the Royal Bank of Canada as the title sponsor for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the nation’s most popular 13.1-mile race. As part of the new sponsorship agreement, NYRR will also take over operational management of RBC’s Race for the Kids event, taking place in Central Park in April, and RBC will sponsor the youth physical education program Rising New York Road Runners.

 

“We have been talking to RBC for years, literally. We started talking to them prior to the pandemic, and we had one of our final meetings in person before the world shut down,” said Christine Burke, NYRR senior vice president of strategic partnerships and runner products. “It’s probably the longest deal I’ve ever worked on, but it’s been well worth the wait.”

In fact, the pre-COVID conversations first began after RBC had reached out seeking an operational partner for its annual Race for the Kids fun run, which began in 2009. That initial charity event has grown into a global series that’s raised over $50 million, but the New York race has until now been operated solely by the bank.

“We were kind of getting to capacity where we were,” said Vito Sperduto, global head of mergers and acquisitions for RBC and the team captain of Race for the Kids. “It takes a lot to put on that event when that’s the only event of that type we put on during the year.”

Early discussions about a potential partnership with NYRR expanded in scope once it became clear that Popular Bank would not renew its title sponsorship of the Brooklyn Half, which it had held for three years. The RBC deal does not include the New York City Marathon, leaving open the banking category for NYRR’s crown jewel.

The partnership agreement, the value of which was not disclosed, runs through August 2025, though Burke said that NYRR already has its sights set on extending the relationship with RBC beyond that initial term. “I think the organizations are really aligned in terms of community engagement and employee engagement,” said Burke. “They’re really strong in the U.S. market, and I think they’re looking at this as a way to leverage both their community involvement as well as their presence in the market. So absolutely we’d be interested in this being a long-term deal, and I think that’s how they’ve entered this relationship as well.”

NYRR plans to host the Brooklyn Half at its traditional time this May at a full capacity of 27,000 runners. The event has been run virtually each of the past two years because of the pandemic.

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

Shareable URL copied to clipboard!

https://sbjcd02.centralus.cloudapp.azure.com/Journal/Issues/2022/01/10/Upfront/NYRR.aspx

Sorry, something went wrong with the copy but here is the link for you.

https://sbjcd02.centralus.cloudapp.azure.com/Journal/Issues/2022/01/10/Upfront/NYRR.aspx

CLOSE
;