With a lagging economy, it wouldn’t have been too surprising if it took a few years for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon to attract a title sponsor.
As it turned out, all it took was a one-year trial period — with a company that already had ties to the race and was looking to get back on board.
Competitor Group, the San Diego-based company that runs the popular Rock ‘n’ Roll series of events, confirmed Tuesday that it has agreed to a three-year deal that will make Henderson-based Zappos.com the title sponsor of the Las Vegas event.
“It’s always a goal of ours to have as a supporter a company that is as excited about the event as we are, and to have them put some money behind it,” said Adam Zocks, the race’s vice president and general manager. “It’s even better when it’s a local company.”
Terms were not disclosed, but William Chipps of Chicago-based IEG provided a likely range.
“I would say the estimated fee would be low six figures per year, probably between $100,000 and $250,000,” said Chipps, the senior editor of IEG’s sponsorship report, which tracks and analyzes corporate sponsorships for a variety of events nationwide. Marathon officials said the money will be used to help offset various race-related expenses.
Zappos.com had soured on the local marathon after a three-year run as title sponsor under previous owner Devine Racing, which struggled to meet its financial commitments, prompting the shoe and apparel company to bow out as chief sponsor after the 2007 race. But Zappos.com returned as presenting sponsor — a step below title sponsorship — for the first edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll event in December and came away impressed on several fronts, including a turnout of more than 28,000 runners for the marathon and half-marathon.
“Last year, they trusted us enough to get involved again,” Zocks said. “We had to show them that we could take the event to the next level for them to make an investment.”
Aaron Magness, senior director of brand management and business development for Zappos.com, recognized the strides made by Competitor Group.
“The Rock ‘n’ Roll brand is a great brand, and they put on amazing races,” said Magness, who has competed in the marathon the past three years. “Last year was kind of a test run. We wanted to make sure everything was as great as it sounded, and they did a great job.”
While thoughts of the economy did come into play, Magness said Zappos.com felt compelled to return as title sponsor.
“We’re the same as everyone else — writing checks doesn’t come easy, especially right now,” he said. “But we’re a local company, and part of that is trying to help the community. This is one example.”
Zocks and Magness said the deal isn’t simply to place Zappos.com in front of the marathon name but is rather a partnership.
“We approach all sponsorship and partners with that in mind,” Zocks said. “We want to make sure we are creating something that works for the sponsor, not just collecting money and saying, ‘See you on race day.’ We want to help them drive business for their side, and they’re going to help create exposure for the event and help it grow.”
Contact reporter Patrick Everson at email@example.com or 702-383-0353.