Economic & Charitable Impact of Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Celebrates Race’s Community Impact with New Campaign


Introduces first-ever digital fundraising program and new creative featuring 2009 race participants and spectators


Releases results of newest economic impact study showing continued growth in event’s contribution to host city


CHICAGO, IL (September 1, 2009) ”ʼ
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon today launched its first-ever
digital fundraising program, further extending the race’s annual
philanthropic impact of generating $10 million for local, national and
global charities. The Marathon also introduced new advertising
featuring 2009 race participants as well as results of a 2008 event
economic impact study.


“Our 2009 campaign
demonstrates how the Bank of America Chicago Marathon makes a
significant impact on not only the individual participants who aspire
to achieve their personal best, but also to the more than 120 charities
that benefit from the race as well as the economy in the host city of
Chicago,” said Tim Maloney, Illinois State and Chicago Market President
for Bank of America. “It’s a source of great pride to know that through
our involvement in this event we can continue to contribute to the
economic, social and cultural vitality of the city and leave a positive
mark on the lives of so many people.”


The digital fundraising program and advertising launch this month online, in print and outdoor to celebrate the 32nd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 11.


Digital Fundraising Program – Footprints for Charity

Beginning today, fans
everywhere are invited to customize a digital running shoe tread with a
personal image and tailored message at
For each submission, Bank of America will donate $1 to the designer’s
choice of one of 22 charities, up to a maximum total contribution of
$50,000. The completed digital footprints will be viewable on the event
site’s home page.


On race day, the final
results of the fundraising effort will be announced and an additional
$10,000 will be awarded by Bank of America to the charity that received
the most submissions on its behalf.


Fans interested in creating a digital footprint of their own should visit or where videos, training tips from elite runners and the latest Bank of America Chicago Marathon news are also available.


Participant-Focused Advertising Campaign

To celebrate the many
inspiring stories that come to life on race day, the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon is introducing a unique and new advertising campaign
for the 2009 event featuring real athletes and spectators, ranging from
elite, world-class racers to a mother who spends her days chasing


The 2009 Bank of America
Chicago Marathon campaign, created by BBDO New York, illustrates the
theme that every participant and spectator who attend on race day
directly contribute to the impact that the race leaves behind.


Seven participants from this year’s event are featured in the campaign, and some of the inspiring stories include:

  • Steven Baskis (Forest
    Park, Ill.), an U.S. Army infantryman who lost his vision in combat
    last year in Iraq will prove that limited sight won’t stand in the way
    of achieving his goals
  • Kurt Fearnley (Australia) will challenge the Paralympic record books – again – as he defends his 2007 and 2008 Chicago titles
  • Marc Gershman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) will take another step towards completing marathons in all 50 states
  • Sammy Wanjiru (Kenya),
    the 22 year-old 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medalist will continue
    his quest to lower his personal best of 2:05:10

recognize the important role of spectators, Executive Race Director
Carey Pinkowski is featured in the campaign, leading the cheering
masses as a tribute to his 20th anniversary with the event.

energy of Chicago fans is like nothing else in the world – they are a
huge part of what makes this race a world class event, and it’s an
honor to be featured alongside them,” said Pinkowski, who has served as
Executive Race Director since 1990.

can see the ad campaign in larger-than-life proportions on the famed
mural wall along the Kennedy Expressway at North Ave. Designed by
Chicago native, 23-year-old Chuck Anderson, the uniquely treated
creative illustration depicts participants and spectators in
overlapping colorful Nike shoe treads.

ads and outdoor elements featuring the participants will appear in the
Chicago market during the month of September and early October. For
full information on these stories and others featured in the campaign,
as well as high resolution images of the creative, visit the online
press center at

Race Charitable & Economic Impact Continues to Grow
a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon draws a substantial international crowd and assists in
contributing to the economic vibrancy of the host city and raising
money for a number of worthwhile charities.

8,000 participants registered in the 2009 Bank of America Chicago
Marathon are raising money for 123 charities. The Marathon estimates
these runners to collectively raise $10 million this fall for local,
national and global causes.

addition to its philanthropic heritage, the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon also makes a significant contribution to the regional economy
each year. According to a new University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory
(R.E.A.L.) report which studied the 2008 race, the Marathon contributes
$143 million in economic impact to  greater Chicago. The study used the
Chicago Region Econometric Input-Output Model (CREIM) to derive
the estimate of the total economic impact of the event, which is largely
derived from the tourism industry including hotels, restaurants and

to the report, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon attracts new
visitors to Chicago and contributes to improving the image of the city
as a tourist destination.  In addition, the event takes place during a
low tourism period, helping to reduce the negative effect of
seasonality in Chicago tourism.

About Bank of America Chicago Marathon
The 32nd
2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in
Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. In
advance of the race, a two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held
at McCormick Place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. More
information on the race and how to get involved is available at the
event Web site,

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