Boston-based life insurer John Hancock announced on Wednesday that the company will not be renewing its contract with the Boston Athletic Association, citing a need to evolve, reported Boston 25 News. John Hancock has been the primary sponsor of the Boston Marathon for 37 years.
“Our contract with the Boston Athletic Association is expiring in 2023, and after careful review, we have chosen not to renew our principal sponsorship of the Boston Marathon after next year’s race,” Hancock’s chief executive, Marianne Harrison, said in a letter.
“Our business has changed so much over the nearly four decades of our sponsorship; we have grown in size and scale and are more globally aligned than ever before. As our organization evolves and we double down on opportunities to help customers live longer, healthier lives through our John Hancock Vitality program, our partnerships must also evolve,” said Harrison.
John Hancock announced plans to end its longtime partnership with the Boston Red Sox earlier this summer.
The insurance company has played a pivotal role in helping the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), which directs the marathon, with racer recruitment and sponsorship, financial resources (including prize money), organizing and printing race guides, and community initiatives. Their non-profit program has afforded organizations the opportunity to secure invitational entries into the race.
In 2019, John Hancock sponsored more than 1,000 non-profit runners, along with 200 John Hancock and Manulife employees and clients. These groups raised $14 million USD for charities. Over the past 35 years, the official B.A.A. and John Hancock non-profit programs have combined to raise more than $372 million USD for community organizations.
In a statement, the B.A.A. responded to the news: “John Hancock has served as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon for nearly four decades, helping to make the Boston Marathon the global and iconic race it is today…We continue to work hand in hand in advance of next April’s 127th Boston Marathon.”
“We’re excited to find our next Boston Marathon principal sponsor, and look forward to partnering with an organization who shares our passion for athletic excellence, community engagement, and growing the Boston Marathon to new heights,” the B.A.A added.