GOLD Coast Airport has extended its naming rights sponsorship of the marathon for the next three years.
The deal takes the relationship between the airport and organisers Events Management Queensland to 15 years in 2017.
Gold Coast managing director Dennis Chant (pictured) says the partnership has grown rapidly over the last 12 years.
“We continue to share our main goals of growing tourism for the region and setting benchmarks in our respective industries that gain international recognition,” Chant says.
“We have witnessed the continued growth of the event in terms of entry numbers, community participation and support and international interest – culminating in the receipt of an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAA) Road Race Gold Label.”
He says the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is the first of its kind in Australia to receive the accolade, demonstrating the commitment to the local community.
Entries have increased from 9,494 in 2002 when Gold Coast Airport first got involved, to 27,159 at last weekend’s race.
Events Management Queensland chairman Kerry Watson says the long standing support from Gold Coast Airport has boosted the event’s international presence.
“The resigning of our partnership agreement just shows that the formula has worked,” Watson says.
“In 2014 we have seen the largest international numbers in the history of the event. By working together and making the event far more accessible to our key markets we have seen the growth we had both envisioned.
“Many years ago we united in a vision to not only grow the event into the elite standard that you saw last weekend, but to collaborate from a marketing perspective to increase the international number of participants in order to grow the tourism market for the Gold Coast.”
Watson says it’s not just the financial contribution, but the ability to utilise connections in the aviation industry.
This included opening up the market in Asia, with nearly 500 international runners flying direct to the city on Scoot and AirAsia.
Kenyan athlete Silah Limo made his Gold Coast Airport Marathon debut on Sunday, with a record-breaking time of 2:09:14.
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