Report: Impact Of BofA Chicago Marathon Has Topped $1.1B Over Past Four Years
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 01:42PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Bank of America, Chicago Marathon, Finances, finances, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

September 27, 2017: Calling it an "important economic driver for the city," a new report shows that the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has delivered more than $1.1 billion over the past four years in economic impact to the city, more than $280 million per year during that period.

The 40th anniversary of the event, scheduled for Oct. 8, is again expected to top the $280 million figure.

"Over the past 12 years, the economic impact of the event has nearly tripled, generating $96 million in 2005 and rising to more than $282 million in 2016," according to an independent study conducted by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory.

According to the report, the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon "directly contributed an estimated $115 million to the main sectors of the tourism industry, which includes lodging, entertainment and transportation; in addition to more than $167 million in indirect activity.

"This is an equivalent of 1,939 jobs and $95 million worth of wages and salary income. Each dollar spent by a race participant generated an additional $1.27 worth of activity distributed throughout Chicago," according to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s study.

This is in addition to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon "raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes."

The event has been held since 1977, with Bank of America becoming title sponsor in 2008.

In comparison, the TCS New York City Marathon creates in excess of $415 million in economic impact to New York and the 2017 Boston Marathon, with lead sponsor John Hancock, surpassed $192 million in economic impact to the region, according to the respective race organizers.

"As we celebrate the 40th running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, we’re proud to be part of an event that continues to have an enormously positive economic benefit for the city of Chicago," Paul Lambert, Chicago market president for Bank of America, said in a statement.

"Everyone associated with this iconic running event, including runners, spectators, residents, businesses and charity partners, feels the effects of the marathon across this great city in the heart of our communities, well beyond race weekend," said Lambert.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which also includes Tokyo, Boston, BMW Berlin and TCS New York City.

In addition to Bank of America, Chicago Marathon sponsors include Abbott, Merrill Lynch, Nike, Molex, Tata Consultancy, Advocate Health Card, Gatorade, Wanda, American Airlines, Aquafina and McDonald’s.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon had 41,608 race participants pick up packets in 2016, a 5% increase over 2015. Of those participants, 28% noted that they were visiting Chicago for the first time, according to race organizers.

According to Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director, "As runners have raced through our city streets over the past 40 years, they have powered more than $1 billion into our local economy.

"Taking on 26.2 miles is no small task, and the commitment and dedication of our participants, volunteers and corporate partners can be seen in the marathon’s outsized impact on our city and community."

In advance of the race, a two-day Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be held in McCormick Place Convention Center.

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