Chengdu first prospective China addition to World Marathon Majors since Wanda deal
Chengdu in China has been put forward as an official candidate to join the Abbott World Marathon Majors, the series of top-tier distance races.
The Chengdu Marathon will now begin a long-term, multi-year evaluation process conducted by the AbbottWMM in a bid to join the group of prestigious cities presently comprising Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.
The inaugural Chengdu Marathon only took place in 2017, co-hosted by the Chinese Athletic Association and the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, and this year's edition will take place on 27 October.
In its first two years, the Chengdu Marathon attracted 48,000 runners from over 54 countries and regions.
The race is now organised and promoted by Wanda Group, the Chinese property and entertainment behemoth that owns sports marketing agency Infront and World Triathlon Corp.
The proposed addition of Chengdu to the AbbottWMM list comes two years after Wanda signed a 10-year partnership with WMM to organise three marathons over the course of the contract in new markets across the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan).
Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin said at the time that a WMM China race would be inaugurated within two to three years, with the Singapore Marathon, owned and operated by WTC, also under consideration for future inclusion.
The WMM was formed in 2006, and in 2015, Abbott, a global healthcare company based in Illinois, USA became the first title sponsor in a four-year deal.
In 2014, prior to Wanda Group’s acquisition of Infront, the Zug-based agency was appointed to handle sponsorship sales for the WMM.