The appointments of Michael Capiraso and Peter Ciaccia as the Co-Presidents of the New York Road Runners (Peter is Events/Race Director, and Micheal is President and CEO), after the departure of Mary Wittenberg, showed that the NYRR had a strong management plan in place.
Studying the bidding for the NYC Marathon, and then writing on it, on a forensic level, would take the length of a 19th century Russian nihilist novel. This is just, for those who remember them, the Cliff notes (very abridged).
2015 TCS NYC Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net
It seems that the New York Road Runners Club saw that they needed to develop a property that included more of their events, stronger licensing fees, higher visibitily retail presence, with a brand that would share that vision and committ a larger share of said running footwear brand's pocketbook.
The NYRR valued their new property brand, built around the marathon at a much higher level than some did. However, there was interest in New York, and still is in the New York City Marathon. It is one of the priz jewels in the sport of road racing.
After several brands were contacted, the bidding continued to evolve, and some of the actors in this game got frustrated. Truth was, the bidding for the NYC marathon now makes it the most expensive sponsorship in the sport of road racing. There was always going to be one winner, and the losers would not be, to put it in modern vernacular, "happy campers."
Forensically speaking, a ten year deal, with up to seven races in the package, licensed apparel, footwear, and the stature of the New York Road Runners Club was a huge carrot.
ASICS was the footwear and apparel sponsor from 1991 to 2016. A long reign in any position. The new sponsor will have to put many resources into keeping the New York City Marathon sponsorship in working order.
It is a far cry from when, in 1975, Fred Lebow asked several companies for $5000 to support the marathon, and they turned it down. One media giant in running asked for money from Fred Lebow to manage his race. Another, George Hirsch, then publisher of New York Magazine, generously gave of his time and money, as did several sponsors who shared the vision of a Five Boroughs Marathon.
It will be interesting to see how, once again, our sport evolves.