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SLO Marathon signs 4-year sponsorship deal with LeftLane Sports

Runners head down Johnson Avenue under police escort April 22, 2012, in the inaugural San Luis Obispo Marathon.
Runners head down Johnson Avenue under police escort April 22, 2012, in the inaugural San Luis Obispo Marathon. jmellom@thetribunenews.com

The San Luis Obispo Marathon and Half-Marathon has signed a four-year sponsorship with LeftLane Sports, a San Luis Obispo-based e-commerce company that sells sporting goods and other athletic gear.

The company, founded by chief executive officer Helio Fialho with friends in 2009, will be the presenting sponsor of the San Luis Obispo Marathon for the next four years.

In addition, LeftLane Sports will donate a percentage of its online sales generated by the marathon and from a merchandise tent that will be available at the three-day event. LeftLane Sports will be the official merchandiser, with products for sale pre-race, onsite and online.

LeftLaneSports has also agreed to promote the marathon both online and in print advertising.

Fialho would not say how much money will be given directly to the marathon for the sponsorship but estimates that the four-year sponsorship agreement is valued at more than $1 million. He said that about $500,000 of that will come in direct financial contributions either through the sponsorship or its revenue share from online sales.

“The synergy between the two companies is perfect,” said SLO Marathon event director Heather Hellman.

The inaugural San Luis Obispo Marathon and Half-Marathon had a $3 million economic impact on San Luis Obispo County, according to a report released by event directors. The $3 million includes money spent by participants on things such as lodging, food, souvenirs, gasoline and event preparation.

Ninety percent of the 3,143 participants in the April marathon were from California, but six countries and 27 states were represented in the race.

The 2013 marathon, half-marathon and 5k are open to 9,000 participants. The half-marathon will be capped at 6,000 runners and the marathon at 2,000.

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