Bishop & Sewell

On Sunday 21 April the streets of London will come alive with the rhythmic pounding of thousands of feet, all moving towards a singular goal: the finish line of the London Marathon, writes David Little, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

As one of the most prestigious and iconic marathons in the world, it has not only captured the hearts of millions of runners but also enticed the attention of numerous sponsors eager to align their brand with this global event.

Since its inception in 1981, the London Marathon has garnered a stellar lineup of sponsors, each contributing to the event’s success in their unique way. Among its notable sponsors are Virgin Money, Abbott, New Balance, and Lucozade Sport. These brands haven’t just dipped their toes into sponsorship; they’ve plunged headfirst into a partnership that offers immense exposure and a chance to connect with diverse audiences.

Virgin Money’s sponsorship, which began in 2010, has been particularly instrumental. Not only has it provided financial support, but it has also integrated the marathon into its broader corporate social responsibility initiatives, leveraging the event to raise millions for charitable causes. Similarly, Abbott, as the official nutrition partner, has capitalized on the marathon’s platform to promote health and fitness, aligning perfectly with its own mission of advancing healthcare.

New Balance, the official footwear and apparel partner, has utilized the marathon as a showcase for its innovative products, gaining widespread visibility among runners and fitness enthusiasts worldwide. And who can forget Lucozade Sport, the event’s official sports drink sponsor, keeping participants hydrated and energized throughout the gruelling 26.2 miles?

But the question remains: do these sponsors truly get value for their hefty investments? The answer, resoundingly, is yes. The London Marathon offers sponsors unparalleled exposure on a global scale. With over 40,000 participants from around the world and millions more watching either in person or via various media channels, the reach of the event is staggering.

The marathon’s ethos of inclusivity, determination, and charitable giving resonates deeply with audiences, fostering a positive association with sponsor brands. This emotional connection is invaluable, transcending mere logo placement to forge lasting relationships with consumers.

The London Marathon isn’t just a one-day affair, either. It’s a year-round phenomenon, with extensive media coverage, training events, and promotional activities leading up to the main event. Sponsors enjoy sustained visibility and engagement, maximizing their return on investment.

So yes, not only have Virgin Money, Abbott, New Balance, and Lucozade Sport and the event’s whole roster of sponsors received ample value for their financial investments but they have also contributed to the event’s enduring legacy of excellence, inspiration, and community impact. As the Marathon continues to evolve and grow, so too will the opportunities for sponsors to bask in the spotlight of this extraordinary event.


Contact our Corporate & Commercial and Sports Law Solicitor

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him, please quote Ref CB467 on either on either 07968 027343 / 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 19 April 2024. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 19th Apr 2024

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