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Hawke’s Bay and Queenstown Marathons run with new sponsor

New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty (NZSIR) has been announced as the new title sponsor of the Hawke’s Bay and Queenstown International Marathons.

The high-profile international events are regarded as two of the world’s most scenic marathons and attract more than 18,000 entrants from throughout New Zealand and around the globe each year.

NZSIR takes over from Air New Zealand as the overarching title sponsor after signing a three-year partnership with the IRONMAN Group, the owner of the two races.

NZSIR managing director Mark Harris says the top-tier sponsorship is a natural progression for the leading real estate agency after sponsoring the half marathons at the events for the past four years.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our involvement with these special events and now we are excited to be extending this even further as the title sponsor of both the Queenstown and Hawke’s Bay International Marathons,” he says. “We understand these events very well and we have a great relationship with IRONMAN. Together, we are looking forward to forging the next chapter of these iconic, bucket-list running races.”

IRONMAN Oceania managing director Dave Beeche says the step up for NZSIR is a perfect fit for everyone concerned.

“Both events have enjoyed wonderful beginnings with the support of Air New Zealand as naming rights partner and while we bid them a fond farewell, we are delighted to have secured NZSIR with immediate effect,” he says. “NZSIR know the events and understand the premium athlete experience that we are delivering. Equally importantly, they are perfectly situated as a premium brand to leverage the partnership and help further grow both events for the participants and the respective regions. We can’t wait to get to work with them on the next exciting phase for both events.”

Air New Zealand Head of Regional Affairs & Tourism Reuben Levermore says now that the Queenstown and Hawke’s Bay marathons are well established, the airline will make way for another naming sponsor for next year and beyond.

“We are proud of our association with the Queenstown and Hawke’s Bay marathons and the iconic events they have become,” he says. “We wish IRONMAN and its partners all the best and look forward to supporting their success through our regular and additional air services.”

The announcement from NZSIR comes hot on the heels of the successful 2019 Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon which took place Saturday, November 16. NZSIR initially signed up as the major sponsor of the half marathons at the Queenstown and Hawke’s Bay events in 2015 and the events have gone from strength to strength ever since, with the Queenstown race doubling in size in six years.

“Our purpose for being involved in this sponsorship originally was to focus on health and wellness. Ensuring that we practice this within our teams and that our clients see that fit is important to us,” Harris says. “These events are described by IRONMAN as discretionary, lifestyle events and that seamlessly aligns with our brand values of offering a premium service in the real estate sector in 15 stunning locations across New Zealand.”

NZSIR’s head office is located in Queenstown, while the company’s first franchise was established in Napier. The marathons are major contributors to their respective local economies; the Queenstown International Marathon injects more than $9 million into the region and the Hawke’s Bay International Marathon brings in close to $4 million.

“These are events that people opt to participate in, regardless of cost or ability. It’s about reaching your own personal goals and, as we are in a goal-driven industry, we can appreciate that strong link. We certainly have big shoes to fill after Air New Zealand, but we are extremely confident that we can deliver a premium, world-class event that supports and encourages people to achieve their goals, whether it’s winning a marathon or walking 10km.”


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