Buttery spread brand Flora, sponsor of the London Marathon, has decided that its bread is better buttered elsewhere. After a 14-year association with the event, Flora has indicated that it will give up its sponsorship following the 2009 race. A delightful investment opportunity for those of you with £12 million lying around!
Promoting itself as a heart-healthy butter alternative by placing its name on the hundreds of thousands of, presumably heart-healthy, runners doggedly completing the 26.2-mile course since the partnership began, the association between the Unilever-owned company and the London Marathon was a brilliant marketing move. Who will fill Flora’s running shoes, we wonder? A company in need of a healthy image upgrade? Dare we joke about the 2010 McDonald’s London Marathon?
The news comes as applicants for the 2008 race receive word as to whether their bid to secure a spot through the ballot was successful. The 2007 race drew approximately 125,000 applicants, only 40 percent of whom were offered a spot in the field. If trends hold steady this year, there are quite a few disappointed runners out there this week, reassured only by such comforting adverts in their rejection package as “It’s not the end of the road”, “Better luck next year” and “We’re sorry you’re such a loser”. (Perhaps a slightly bitter Londonista made up that last slogan, but you get the point.)
Sponsoring the race might be one way to guarantee entry into the thing.
The London Marathon is the largest fundraising event in the world, bringing in an astonishing £46 million a year for charity. If you’re still seeking a way to finagle a spot in the field, there are many worthy causes who we imagine would be happy to hear from you.
Image courtesy of GafferBee’s Flickr photostream