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Marathon rides on big bucks

While participants in Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon have more than doubled since its first edition in 2004, the investment in putting up the event too have kept pace, reports Venkatesh Ganesh.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2008 01:38 IST
Venkatesh Ganesh

While participants in Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon have more than doubled since its first edition in 2004, the investment in putting up the event too have kept pace. Event organiser, Procam International, has said there has been an increased of 10 per cent in investments since the first marathon in 2004.

“This year, we have invested Rs 12-15 crore,” said Vivek Singh, joint managing director, Procam International. “This includes payment to athletes, volunteers and private security guards.” He said that ever since the first edition of the marathon in 2004, the investments have increased by 10-15 per cent.

The main sponsor, Standard Chartered, is said to have invested about Rs 80 lakh in this year’s marathon. The bank sponsors nine marathons across the world, including Hong Kong and New Jersey. Organisers estimate that the event needs crores for promotions, participation payment to athletes, prize money and other expenses.

And everyone — from event managers to biscuit and beverage manufacturers — does brisk business. Does that mean the returns are lucrative? Singh said returns in a marathon are slow, which he said is a global trend. “Promoters of marathon events are expected to bear losses for a few years.”

Standard Chartered’s Sumeet Singla said the marathon is more of brand positioning. “Marathons characterise the values and attitudes that Standard Chartered believes in and lives by everyday — the “can-do” attitude, the will power, stamina, and determination to go the distance,” said Singla, who heads corporate affairs for the bank’s India and South Asia operations.