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USA TODAY Sports Alliance Includes Cleveland Marathon

July 21, 2015

McLean, Va. (July 21, 2015) – The USA TODAY Sports Media Group today announced the launch of its first-ever platform designed to promote the endurance running market with the launch of the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance, a network that brings together many of the nation’s finest independent marathons and half marathons under one roof, allowing marketers to efficiently navigate media, marketing and sponsorship opportunities through one centralized source.

Seven of the country’s most respected road races have signed on to be part of the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance at launch, including:

  • Eversource Hartford Marathon
  • Portland (OR) Marathon
  • California International Marathon
  • Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon
  • Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Detroit Marathon
  • GO! St. Louis Marathon
  • Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Jason Ford, the VP of Sports Marketing for USA TODAY Sports Media Group, will oversee the Active Alliance, in partnership with endurance and lifestyle industry veteran Bruce Revman. The Active Alliance expects to grow to include between 15 and 20 events by 2016.

“There’s a void for marketers looking to engage with an active audience, on any scale, in different markets, and with meaningful and relevant media,” said Revman. “Brands require more than onsite integration and exposure, and through the powerful national reach of USA TODAY Sports and the local influence of Gannett, the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance will deliver marketing, media and sponsorship solutions, all through one centralized point of contact. The premise of ‘think global, act local’ is very much at the heart of the Active Alliance initiative.”

Races within the Active Alliance receive visibility from a national platform and benefit from the vast media resources and assets that both USA TODAY Sports and its parent Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), provide, thus delivering new partnerships, increased local and regional promotion and heightened editorial coverage. “We expect to help drive a significant amount of new registrations from runners who otherwise may not know much about these great races,” said Revman, “and I know that’s an exciting opportunity to the race directors.”

“The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is one of the oldest marathons in the country, and we’ve consistently worked to add features and new races that allow participants of all skill levels to run or walk in one of our events,” said Ralph Staph, Race Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. “Our courses are fast, and our city is fun. We look forward to welcoming new participants from around the country who are taking part in the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance. We’re proud to be a founding partner of this unique program."

“The Portland Marathon is honored to be a founding partner of the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance,” said Les Smith, CEO of the Portland Marathon. “Clearly, the opportunities and benefits for each event create a solid synergy with the media power provided by USA TODAY. Our marathon is likewise excited by the positive exposure that our non-profit, high quality community event will receive. It will be a powerful resource for all involved, and we are proud to be part of it.”

"It's great to be among the renowned, world-class race events featured in the USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance," said Beth Shluger, CEO of Hartford Marathon Foundation and race director of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. "We continually work to attract runners from across the country to enjoy the high quality race experience in Hartford, and the exposure provided to us as part of the USA TODAY SPORTS ACTIVE ALLIANCE introduces us to runners in places we wouldn't normally have access. We’re very excited to be a founding race partner of the Active Alliance.”

About the USA TODAY Sports Media Group

The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 120 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images; leading high school sports destination USA TODAY High School Sports; the social news hub For The Win, and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties such as and mixed martial arts site, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

About the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is in its 39th year of providing a fitness experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities. The event offers a Kids’ Run, 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon – all of which participants can choose to run or walk. Nearly 450,000 runners have participated, generating more than $18 million annually to benefit the Cleveland community.

Mission Statement:

  • To provide a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities.
  • To produce an event that highlights the Cleveland community and provides a positive economic impact for the community.
  • To give charities an opportunity to benefit financially from the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 8K and 5K events.