Incumbent Rpm-Mktg and Ironman in race for Barcelona Marathon contract
Rpm-Mktg, the Spanish experiential sponsorship agency majority owned by Dentsu, the Japanese advertising giant, faces competition from Ironman, the organiser of long-distance triathlon events owned by China's Wanda Sports Holdings, to retain the contract to organise the Barcelona Marathon.
Rpm-Mktg and Ironman were the only two companies to submit formal bids to Barcelona City Council to organise the marathon and the half-marathon.
The contract would cover the 2021 to 2023 editions, with the option of two more years. The cost of organising the two races between 2021 and 2025 is estimated at €11.2 million ($12.6 million).
Rpm-Mktg, which also runs the Havana Marathon in Cuba, has organised the Barcelona Marathon since 2006, growing the event from 4,400 runners to 19,000. It has worked closely with ASO, the organiser of cycling's Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
Ironman, which already organises the Madrid Marathon, is keen to expand its franchise in Spain and sees taking control of the Barcelona Marathon as a strategic move to do so.
Last year, it appointed Sergi Pujalte, director of the Barcelona Marathon, as its new director of operations in southern Europe.
The winner of the Barcelona Marathon contract will be responsible for contracting the title sponsor, main sponsor and official sponsors. Swiss insurance firm Zurich is the present title sponsor.
It was announced last week that this year's Barcelona Marathon has been moved from 15 March to 25 October because of the spread of coronavirus.