Virgin Money ends headline sponsorship of the London Marathon

24 Oct 2019 News

Virgin Money will relinquish its headline sponsorship of London Marathon when the existing contract comes to an end. 

This means that the London Marathon 2021 will be the final year with Virgin Money as headline sponsor. The partnership began in 2010 and has been extended twice. 

A spokesperson for Virgin Money told Civil Society News: “All sponsorships have a natural shelf life and after 12 fantastic years of being the headline sponsor of the London Marathon, we feel that now is the right time to seek new opportunities.”

Virgin Money was bought by another banking group, CYBG PLC, in 2018. The group's other entities are in the process of being rebranded with a new Virgin Money brand and at the end of this month the group will change its name to Virgin Money UK PLC. 

Helen Page, group brand and marketing director at Virgin Money, said: “As a new organisation with a new purpose we need to realign our future sponsorship and take a different direction. 

“We remain committed to sponsoring the London Marathon until 2021 and look forward to playing a huge part in the London Marathon's 40th race celebrations in 2020.”

Virgin Money Giving in talks with London Marathon

The fundraising platform Virgin Money Giving is in discussions with London Marathon to retain its status as official fundraising platform, a spokesperson has told Civil Society News.

Virgin Money Giving was created from the partnership with London Marathon and its events and more than £200m has been raised through the platform by its runners.

Virgin Money’s spokesperson said: “London Marathon and Virgin Money are extremely proud that Virgin Money Giving was born of our partnership and has gone on to be the biggest not-for-profit fundraising site in the UK.”

Hugh Brasher, event director for London Marathon Events, said: "We are very proud that this partnership led to the creation of Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit fundraising platform which has meant that so much more of the money raised by our runners goes to their chosen charity.”

12-year sponsorship

London Marathon's partnership with Virgin Money dates from 2010. In 2015 it was extended for five years and earlier this year it was extended by one year, taking it to 2021.  

This year, London Marathon hit a cumulative total of £1bn in funds raised for charities, since its first race in 1981. Over half of that total was raised since the first year of partnership Virgin.

Brasher added that: “12 years is a very long time in sports sponsorship and further illustration of the mutual success of this partnership.”

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