THE city’s annual marathon received an energy boost after Gold Coast Airport today extended naming rights sponsorship by another three years.
The deal means the airport, which first began sponsoring in 2003, will continue with the Gold Coast Airport Marathon from 2012 to 2014 inclusive.
Gold Coast Airport managing director Dennis Chant (pictured left with Kerry Watson) describes the pact as a ‘proud’ 10-year partnership.
"The Gold Coast Airport Marathon allows Gold Coast Airport to demonstrate to other corporate entities a commitment to fostering events that showcase this region to the world and involve the community as a whole," he says.
"Sponsorship of this event has certainly helped our airport grow and is credited with helping us secure direct daily flights to Japan, after we started with charter services specifically for the marathon some years ago.”
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh believes the partnership will help to deliver more visitors to the ‘glitter strip’.
"Since Gold Coast Airport commenced its sponsorship, entries have risen from 9494 in (the year) 2002 to 24,725 last year," she says.
"The sponsorship by Gold Coast Airport has enabled the event to increase its numbers significantly from interstate and reach key international markets, particularly Japan, New Zealand and southeast Asia.”
The State Government estimates last year’s marathon had an economic impact of $39.45 million with nearly 50,000 in total visitor nights spent in Queensland.
"Hosting major events like this are part of our plan to continue building Queensland's bright future,” says Bligh.
"With the continued support of the Gold Coast Airport, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon will continue to be one of the city's international showcase events in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games."
Events Queensland CEO John O'Sullivan is confident the extended sponsorship will cement the marathon's reputation as a key event on the Queensland calendar.
"The support of Gold Coast Airport over the past 10 years has helped elevate the Gold Coast Airport Marathon to become one of the world's most desirable running events,” he says.
"Events help build resilience in tourism and this is a great example of how an event – and a sponsor can work together towards this goal."
Events Queensland Gold Coast chairman Kerry Watson predicts the sponsorship will boost activity in key interstate and overseas markets including New Zealand, Japan and other parts of Asia.
The two-day Gold Coast Airport Marathon begins on June 30.