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Posted: September 1, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: 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) -- 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 triplets.

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

To 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.

"The 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.

Chicagoans 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.

Print 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

As 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.

Approximately 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.

In 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 theestimate of the total economic impact of the event, which is largely derived from the tourism industry including hotels, restaurants and entertainment.

According 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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