Posted by: Joe English | February 26, 2008

Races: Seattle Marathon parts with title sponsor

As a follow-up to our reporting last December, the Seattle Marathon has now lost its title sponsor — the University of Washington Medical Center. The marathon got in hot water with runners and the public after publicizing the race as a “charity” benefit for the University of Washington Medical Center when it was revealed by the Seattle Times that only those funds contributed by runners actually went to the medical center.

The race raised $8,346 for the medical center from the 2007 race, made up of those contributions from runners specifically supporting the medical center. That’s about 88 cents per participant.

The Seattle Times ran a front-page follow-up article today detailing the new plan under which the University of Washington Medical Center will step down as the title sponsor of the race. The Medical Center will continue on as a lower-level sponsor and will continue to provide medical support for the marthon.

UW Medical Center spokeswoman Tina Mankowski said Monday in the Times article that the UW had “triggered an opt-out clause in its contract last month and has been negotiating a new deal since.” She went on to say that “we decided that providing medical care for the marathon was our niche, and that’s really where we wanted to be. That’s what we are going to be doing this year.”

The Times article also revealed that the UW Medical Center was “to have paid $140,000 to help stage this year’s event and $155,000 for next year’s race. But under the terms of a new four-year deal, expected to be signed within days, the UW will provide $70,000 this year and each year through 2010, then $80,000 in 2011.” The drop in sponsorship dollars may will impact the Marathon’s race budget, unless another sponsor can be found to take over that role.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

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