ING Teams Up with Elite Racing to Announce Newest Race Sponsorship: ING Philadelphia Distance Run
ING, one of the world’s leading financial services companies and one of the running community’s most committed supporters, announced today that it has partnered with sports marketing and race management powerhouse Elite Racing, Inc., a division of Competitor Group, Inc., to become title sponsor of the ING Philadelphia Distance Run half marathon, www.INGphiladelphiadistancerun.com.
This partnership is a multi-year agreement that involves naming rights as well as a variety of marketing, promotional, hospitality and charitable components. It brings together two of the nation’s most well-respected and recognized names in distance running event management and sponsorship.
“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with a premier organization like Elite Racing as we broaden our commitment to the sport of running,” said Harry Stout, Head of Wealth Management Market Segments for ING. “One of ING’s principle businesses is located in the Delaware Valley region, and we’re looking forward to a terrific event that brings runners, spectators, employees and the community together in a positive and memorable way. As a leading provider of insurance and asset management solutions for retirement, ING sees the parallels between distance running and financial planning – it’s about starting small, setting goals and staying committed for the long-run.”
"Elite Racing assumed management of the Philadelphia Distance Run in 2005 and has since worked hard to uphold its high standards and increase its visibility on the world’s stage,” said Adam Zocks, the race’s general manager. “Our partnership with ING only adds to the prestige of the event. We invite all runners to experience the tradition and excitement of the ING Philadelphia Distance Run on Sunday, September 21, 2008."
The ING Philadelphia Distance Run has been one of the most popular and respected half marathons in the country for thirty years. The 13.1 mile scenic course showcases many of the city’s celebrated and historic sites. In addition to outstanding performances by international elite athletes, the event features live bands every mile as well as races for children between the ages of three and twelve.
Last year, over 14,000 runners, walkers and wheel-chair participants registered for the event, and nearly 12,000 finished. This year’s event will be held on September 21, marking its 31st anniversary.
With today’s announcement, ING adds another premier running event to its portfolio of race sponsorships around the globe.
In the United States, ING became the first-ever title sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon in 2003. Today, ING’s list of title running sponsorships has grown to include the ING Miami Marathon, the ING Georgia Marathon, the ING Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco and, most recently, the ING Hartford Marathon which will commence October 11. The company is also a major sponsor of the Denver Marathon and the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
Both ING and Elite have built outstanding reputations in the running community, each sharing common values when it comes to managing, marketing and sponsoring premier race events. Working together, their goal is to make the ING Philadelphia Distance Run even more successful by enhancing the experience for runners, spectators and everyone involved.
As title sponsor, ING plans to encourage spectator participation by “painting the town orange” – the company’s trademark color – and setting up special cheer zones along the race course. The company will draw upon its nearly 700 employees based in West Chester, Pennsylvania as Brand Ambassadors to help staff the race along the course. ING will also activate its ING Run for Something Better program locally.
ING Run for Something Better is the charitable companion to the company’s running sponsorships which provides funding to local community and school-based running and fitness programs. The initiative is designed to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle in the fight against childhood obesity. Since its inception in 2003, the ING Run for Something Better has encouraged thousands of children, parents and teachers to adopt healthier lifestyles. It has donated more than one million dollars to youth running initiatives in those regions.
Delaware Valley area residents can also participate in the ING Run for Something Better campaign by donating $10 or more to the charitable fund at www.orangelaces.com. Each person who contributes will receive a special pair of orange shoelaces as a token of support to show they are “tied to kids’ fitness.” All proceeds directly benefit local ING Run for Something Better youth running and school-based fitness programs.
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to over 75 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
In the U.S. (NYSE: ING), the ING family of companies offer a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com
About the ING Run for Something Better
The ING Run for Something Better is a fundraising campaign that supports community and school-based running programs. Linked to ING’s long-distance race sponsorships, the program was created to introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle that prevents conditions such as childhood obesity. In today’s world of poor nutrition and less-active lifestyles – which may contribute to childhood obesity – ING is using its position as a sponsor of marathons worldwide as a platform for helping kids get fit through free school-based running programs. ING’s goal is to invest in the health of American children by donating $2 million to running programs to get 500,000 kids running by 2010. ING has also created a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contribution. When someone donates $10 or more to the ING Run for Something Better, ING will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are “tied” to supporting kids’ fitness. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of orange laces go to the ING Run for Something Better fitness programs. For more information about the orange laces, go to www.orangelaces.com.
About Elite Racing Inc.
Based in San Diego, Calif., Elite Racing, Inc. is a division of Competitor Group, Inc., which includes endurance sports publishing leaders Competitor Magazine and Triathlete Magazine. Elite Racing produces world-class road racing events for runners and walkers throughout the United States. Its signature Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series began in 1998 with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego. Over the past 10 years, the sports marketing and management company has grown to manage a total of seven marathons and half marathons including the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & Marathon in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, the Country Music Marathon and Marathon in Nashville, Tenn., the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & Marathon in San Antonio, Tex., the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons in Virginia Beach, Va. and San Jose, Calif., and the ING Philadelphia Distance Run. Events feature live bands on entertainment stages and cheerleaders at every mile along the course and attract between 13,000 and 37,000 participants.
In addition, Elite Racing also produces the Carlsbad 5000. Known as the “world’s fastest 5K,” the Carlsbad 5000 is home to 16 world best times at the 3.1-mile distance and welcomes over 10,000 runners and walkers to the streets of Carlsbad, Calif. annually.
For more information about Elite Racing’s events visit www.eliteracing.com.