Graduation Day: The Dallas Marathon

March 22, 2013

On March 20, 2013, the Dallas Marathon board of directors presented a $500,000 donation to primary beneficiary Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Since 1997, the race has contributed more than $3.3 million to the hospital. In honor of the marathon's success, take a look at the work that went into this year's event.

Running a 26.2-mile race is a big accomplishment. Producing and promoting a dynamic, ever-changing marathon? Just as rewarding.

Like watching our child cross the graduation stage, we helped the Dallas White Rock Marathon achieve a major milestone recently: taking its first steps after rebranding as the more nationally recognizable MetroPCS Dallas Marathon –  complete with a new logo and city-friendly course change.

Of course, with this bold new direction (after 42 years) came concerns of confusion in the marathon community. What if our loyal marathoners from years past didn’t recognize us? Would they realize we were the same great race, only better?

Ultimately, the running community embraced the marathon’s growth. The 2012 Dallas Marathon weekend had a record-high attendance of 28,905 total participants among the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon, 5-Person Relay and Cigna Mayor’s Race 5K. Coupled with 60,000 Health & Fitness Expo attendees and 300,000 spectators across the city, it's safe to say we achieved our main objective: to build awareness around the new identity.

National media took notice. CNN, Fox News and The Weather Channel covered the Dallas Marathon for the first time in decades. And as Superstorm Sandy forced New York Marathon officials to make the controversial decision to cancel the race, ESPN approached the Dallas Marathon for perspective, and executive director Marcus Grunewald appeared on Outside the Lines – the lone marathon director interviewed. 

Earned media impressions were up 101 percent from 2011, totaling 590 million. More importantly, the entire Dallas Marathon team – staff, board members, runners, volunteers and spectators – enjoyed watching our “child” come into its own as one of the premier races in the country.