A new look is coming to the Boston Marathon in 2024. On Monday, the prestigious marathon announced a new 10-year sponsorship deal with Bank of America that organizers hope will allow the world’s oldest marathon major to grow over the next decade while maintaining its historic character.
The new deal is described as a presenting partnership, meaning the title of the race will not change. The race will instead carry the name “The Boston Marathon presented by Bank of America,” in contrast to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
For the last 38 years, the marathon has been affiliated with insurance company John Hancock (a US subsidiary of Canadian insurance company Manulife Financial). Under John Hancock’s financial partnership, the race gradually increased the prize pool to attract elite runners from around the world, taking the race to new heights and fame. In Sept. 2022, the company announced that 2023 would be its last year sponsoring the race.
The Boston Marathon was first run in 1897 by 15 runners who were inspired by the marathon race at the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens, Greece. Since, the Boston Marathon has grown into a weekend-long annual running festival, hosting over 30,000 runners, the signature event on Massachusetts’ Patriots’ Day.
“Why would you ever change a legacy?” said david tyrie, Bank of America’s chief digital officer and chief marketing officer. “We’re not going to do that. Everything you know and love about the Boston Marathon will continue.”
Tyrie said in a press conference that the intention behind the new sponsorship is to raise the race’s profile year-round, capitalizing on the company’s experience in Chicago and bringing new ideas to Boston.
Bank of America has already dipped its foot in the distance-running world as the title sponsor of the Chicago Marathon since 2008.
“With alignment in values and commitment to both communities and leadership, we’ll work together to enhance one of the world’s great participatory sporting events. Bank of America will partner with us at every stage to grow, broaden and innovate new pathways in running,” said Jack Flemingpresident and CEO of the BAA
The bank has an extensive presence in Boston: the course runs past 11 Bank of America branches, two of them on the final sprint down Boylston Street to the finish line in Copley Square.