IMG has today announced Nike as the Melbourne Marathon Festival’s official major partner ahead of the iconic sporting event making its highly anticipated return this October. The partnership will celebrate the power of sport to bring communities together and encourage both elite and everyday athletes* to take part in the event.
It will also see Nike take on naming rights to the Full and Half Marathons. Officially named Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival from 2021, Australia’s largest marathon event is set to spotlight Melbourne – the city of movement and sport – with an extraordinary finish line experience inside the MCG.
“Melbourne hosts one of the most celebrated running events of the calendar year and is home to an incredibly active running community,” said Ashley Reade, Nike Pacific Vice President and General Manager. “The Nike brand was founded by runners, for runners, so we are excited to become the major partner of this premier event and continue to support and grow the running culture in Australia.”
After a challenging 2020, running has become an increasingly important form of movement with six million Australians running at least once per week – a 33 per cent increase from mid-2019 to 20201. Nike has also seen year-on-year growth in active users of its Nike Run Club (NRC) app over the last three years.
In the lead up to the event, Nike will be committed to providing all runners with official training programs, powered by Nike Run Club (NRC) app and Nike Training Club (NTC) app. These programs have been specifically designed by Nike Coaches, Trainers and Athletes to help inspire all runners to reach their goals (details to be released).
“2019 was a record year for participation and we’re excited to return this year as the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival,” said Marcus Gale, Event Director for IMG. “We’re dedicated to creating a unique marathon experience for runners and are confident this partnership with Nike will cement our position locally as the preeminent Marathon Festival in Australia, and propel the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival into global significance.”
The flat and fast course will provide ideal conditions for athletes* pushing for a personal best or for those taking on a new challenge. Nike athletes and coaches are set to join Melbourne at the starting line including Australian running legend Steve Moneghetti, and Nike Pacific Run Coaches Lydia O’Donnell and Dave Ridley.
“The Melbourne Marathon Festival has always been one of my favourite events,” said Nike athlete Steve Moneghetti. “I love how it brings people together to share the road, side-by- side, no matter what stage of their journey they’re at. It will be so inspiring to see the running community unite for this event after such a challenging year for us all.”
Nike Pacific Run Coach Lydia O’Donnell said “as a lifelong runner and Nike Coach, it’s great to see Nike get behind the Melbourne Marathon Festival and continue to show up and support the Australian running community.
“I can’t wait to hit the pavement and get amongst the action for this incredible event!”
The Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival will provide a range of distances for participants from a full marathon, half marathon, 10km, 5km to a 3km course.
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