Sports Backers, the City of Richmond sports foundation, announced today that Nike had signed-on with their Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10-K as the event's running shoe and sports apparel sponsor. The race, the largest in the state of Virginia, is set for Saturday, March 28, in Richmond.
"The Nike swoosh is recognized the world over as being affiliated with athletes and sporting events of the highest caliber," said Sports Backers executive director, Jon Lugbill, through a media release. "We are thrilled to have Nike part of one of the fastest growing running races in America."
Indeed, the Monument Avenue 10-K has shown remarkable growth since its inception in 2000 when it was a mid-sized regional race with 2,184 finishers. Leveraging their relationship with Ukrop's, a major supermarket in the region, the race promoted itself through the stores and has grown by more than ten times in terms of 10-K finishers to 24,055 last year. Including companion events, organizers reported 31,158 total participants in 2008.
The Nike deal, which conicides with the 10th editon of the race, will allow every participant to upgrade to a Nike technical shirt. Race committee members will be outfitted with Nike running shoes and apparel, and Nike representatives will also be conducting shoe and apparel clinics with the 3,500 members of the YMCA 10-K Training Team in conjunction with Road Runner Running Store, a local retailer.
"Richmond has such a strong running community and this is a great partnership for this event," commented Thom Suddeth, owner of the Road Runner Running Store and elite athlete coordinator for the event. "The Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10-K provides a perfect way for Nike to show tens of thousands of runners why they are still be best shoe and apparel company in the industry."
More information on the race is available at SportsBackers.org.