JOHN HANCOCK AND THE BOSTON MARATHON CELEBRATE 29TH YEAR OF PARTNERSHIP
2014 will mark the 29th year of John Hancock's landmark sponsorship of the legendary Boston Marathon. John Hancock’s continued support of the Boston Athletic Association, which has directed the race since 1897, ensures the stability of the world's oldest annual marathon.
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REACHING OUT TO THE COMMUNITY
Whenever John Hancock sponsors a major event like the Marathon, it is important for the community to benefit as well. John Hancock sponsors many community initiatives in coordination with the Marathon each year including the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program, Scholars & Stars: Hopkinton and Scholars & Stars: Boston.
The Non-Profit Program offers local organizations the opportunity to secure invitational entries into the race. These entries provide a significant fundraising opportunity and important exposure for these non-profits. In 2013 over a thousand John Hancock sponsored non-profit runners, including 150 John Hancock and Manulife employees, raised nearly $8 million for 146 local charities and Pathways to Education Canada and Habitat for Humanity-Canada.
The Scholars & Stars: Hopkinton program, now in its 22nd year, brings John Hancock’s elite Kenyan runners together with Hopkinton elementary students for a pre-race pep-rally in the historic town where the Marathon begins. Students study the culture of their running friends throughout the year and are introduced to the athletes during race week.
The Scholars & Stars: Boston track event brings former Boston Marathon champions together with Boston high school scholar-athletes for small-group running clinics. In 2013 Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyer, 2012 champion Wesley Korir and American elite Fernando Cabada shared training tips with students at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center during race week. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, John Hancock employee-volunteers and representatives from the Boston Scholar Athlete Program and Tufts University have also participated.
HELPING TO KEEP THE RACE RUNNING
As principal sponsor, John Hancock has provided substantial financial resources, including the first-ever prize money in 1986, and has continued that tradition with a prize purse this year of $806,000, plus $220,000 for performance bonuses. During the past 28 years, the Company has awarded over $16.5 million in prize and bonus awards.
Each year, John Hancock recruits and sponsors the top distance runners in the world to participate in the Marathon as members of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. The Company hosts the athletes for race week at the John Hancock Elite Athlete Village where employee-volunteers ensure the athletes are taken care of during race week.
The Company also sponsors the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, which is the official location for picking up entry bibs and other important race information. The Expo serves as a hub for Marathon participants and their guests throughout race weekend, drawing 200 exhibitors and 80,000 visitors.
To support the local, national, and international media representatives who cover the race, John Hancock’s Public Relations department produces the official Boston Marathon print and online media guides; coordinates press events, materials and credentials; hosts a Twitter site @jhboston26 and supports the operation of the Boston Marathon press room.
On race day, John Hancock provides the use of several facilities in Copley Square, the services of hundreds of employee-sponsored volunteers to assist with race-related tasks, and a giant television screen near the Finish Line for the public to view the race.
In addition, the Company also contributes a wide range of financial support and services to the eight towns and cities along the Marathon route in appreciation for past and continued support of the race. The eight communities are Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston.
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BELOW: 2013 champions Rita Jeptoo, of Kenya, and Lelisa Desisa, of Ethiopia, celebrate their victories. Desisa returned after the race to gift his championship medal to the City of Boston, on behalf of all Boston Marathon runners, to honor the victims and families affected by the tragic events of April 15, 2013. Both Desisa and Jeptoo are members of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team.