Millions of Japanese to Tune Into Gold Coast Marathon: Premier
“I am pleased to announce the Gold Coast Airport Marathon on July 1 will be telecast on the TBS network in Japan in an exclusive feature promoting this top Queensland holiday destination,” Mr Beattie said.
“This is the result of a major cooperative campaign undertaken to generate mass awareness of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon in the event’s leading international market,” he said. “2007 will be the best year yet for this major event which has come a long way since it was taken over in 2001 by the Queensland Government through Queensland Events Gold Coast.
“Back then, entries were just 7000 so it is a thrill to see the event going from strength to strength each year under its current management, and I congratulate all involved in this latest marketing coup.”
The marketing campaign, led by Queensland Events Gold Coast in partnership with Gold Coast Tourism, Tourism Queensland and Tourism Australia, secured the dedicated television program to be shown on the TBS network in the Kanto region in Japan, which includes Tokyo, and in a prime afternoon slot on Sunday July 15.
It will be the second program in a special series featuring leading Japanese celebrity Akiko Wada – often referred to as Japan's Oprah. The program is being produced by Kyodo Television, with a cast and crew of 25 people headed for the Gold Coast.
A joint campaign by Tourism Australia, Tourism Queensland, Gold Coast Tourism, Qantas and JAL is already underway through print and billboard advertising and has secured the support of other Japanese celebrities for the marathon event.
Gold Coast Airport Marathon advertisements have appeared in one of the busiest train lines in Tokyo and in major newspapers in the Tokyo and Nagoya regions.
Queensland Events Gold Coast Chairman Kerry Watson said the cooperation between events and tourism authorities in Australia had been key to producing these significant outcomes.
“The importance of the Japan market to the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and tourism authorities is evidenced already by the establishment of a Japan Marathon Office in Tokyo and a dedicated event website in Japanese at http://www.gcm.jp/ ,” said Mr Watson.
“This year we aim to attract substantially more than last year’s result of 1060 participants from Japan. If we can do this, it will be due to the marketing alliance with our tourism authorities, principal sponsor Gold Coast Airport and our sister marathon in Osaka, and our major Japanese tour wholesalers,” he said.
“The event has already been buoyed by the Gold Coast Airport runway extension which will see its first international flight arrival to include a wholesaler JTB-organised group of 220 runners from Japan to compete in the upcoming Gold Coast Airport Marathon.”
Dual Olympic medallist Yuko Arimori, the first Japanese professional lifesaver Seiji Iinuma, magazine model and television personality Rie Hasegawa, Asics mascot Erika Ogushi and television comedian Hanako Miyagawa will be on the Gold Coast for the marathon.
Popular Japanese lifestyle magazines Tarzan and Jane will cover the participation of Seiji Iinuma and Erika Ogushi in the full marathon. Rie Hasegawa, who is well known in Japan for running and modelling, will also make headlines with her run in the marathon covered by Story magazine.
Famous Japanese comedian Hanako Miyagawa will join her daughter and co-comedian Sayuri, and 50 members of their fan club in this year’s Asics Half Marathon on the Gold Coast.
Interest in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is strong right across Japan including the western regions of Osaka and Nagoya where a number of the celebrities come from.
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon has a sister marathon relationship with the Senshu International Marathon which is held in Osaka each February. The major agreement for a marathon event in Australia was forged in 2002 and enables the male and female winners of both events to run in the sister marathon the following year.
The 29th Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on Sunday, July 1, 2007. Entries are online at http://www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au/ or phone +61 7 5564 8733.
Media Contacts: Premier’s Office – 07 3224 4500
Queensland Events Gold Coast – 07 5564 8733