John Hancock and Boston Marathon celebrate 32nd year of partnership

2017 marks the 32nd year of John Hancock’s landmark sponsorship of the legendary Boston Marathon. John Hancock’s continued support of the Boston Athletic Association, which has directed the race since 1897, ensures the stability of the world’s oldest annual marathon.

Reaching out to the community

Whenever John Hancock sponsors a major event like the Marathon, it is important for the community to benefit as well.  John Hancock sponsors many community initiatives in coordination with the Marathon each year including the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program, Scholars & Stars in Hopkinton and Scholars & Stars in Boston.

The Non-Profit Program offers organizations the opportunity to secure invitational entries into the race.  These entries provide a significant fundraising opportunity and important exposure for these non-profits. In 2016 over 1,000 John Hancock sponsored non-profit runners, including 167 John Hancock and Manulife employees and clients, raised over $11.26 million for local charities and Pathways to Education Canada. Over the past 31 years, the official B.A.A. and John Hancock Non-Profit Programs have combined to raise more than $264 million for community organizations.

The Scholars & Stars in Hopkinton, now in its 25th year, brings John Hancock’s elite Kenyan runners together with Hopkinton elementary students for a pre-race pep-rally in the historic town where the Marathon begins. Students study the culture of their running friends throughout the year and are introduced to the athletes during race week.

The Scholars & Stars in Boston is a fitness event where John Hancock, in partnership with the United States Fund for UNICEF, brings Boston 3rd, 4th and 5th graders together to meet and train with world-class marathoners, including past champions, Olympians, and top Americans at the Reggie Lewis Track Center.

Helping to keep the race running

As principal sponsor, John Hancock has provided substantial financial resources, including the first-ever prize money in 1986, and has continued that tradition with a prize purse this year of $830,500, plus $220,000 for performance bonuses. During the past 31 years, the Company has awarded nearly $19 million in prize and bonus awards.

Each year, John Hancock recruits and sponsors the top distance runners in the world to participate in the Marathon as members of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team.  The Company hosts the athletes for race week at the John Hancock Elite Athlete Village where employee-volunteers ensure the athletes are taken care of during race week.

The Company also sponsors the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, which is the official location for picking up entry bibs and other important race information. The Expo serves as a hub for Marathon participants and their guests throughout race weekend, drawing 200 exhibitors and 80,000 visitors.

To support the local, national, and international media representatives who cover the race, John Hancock’s Corporate Communications and Sponsorship Marketing departments produce the official Boston Marathon print and online media guides; coordinate press events, materials and credentials; host a Twitter site @jhboston26 and support the operation of the Boston Marathon press rooms.

On race day, John Hancock provides the use of several facilities in Copley Square, the services of hundreds of employee-sponsored volunteers to assist with race-related tasks, and a giant television screen near the Finish Line for the public to view the race.

This year, in an effort to celebrate and preserve the history of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock announced their partnership with LA Roma Films to be the presenting sponsor of BOSTON, the first feature-length documentary film about the Boston Marathon. John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association will host the World Premiere of the film on One Boston Day, April 15, at the Boch Center Wang Theatre.

In addition, the Company also contributes a wide range of financial support and services to the eight towns and cities along the Marathon route in appreciation for past and continued support of the race. The eight communities are Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston.

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