First National Bank rescues Accra Marathon - First race set for Nov. 11
First National Bank rescues Accra Marathon - First race set for Nov. 11

First National Bank rescues Accra Marathon - First race set for Nov. 11

Long-distance athletes across the length and breadth of the country can now heave a sigh of relief as financial sector giant, First National Bank (FNB), takes over as the new headline sponsor to resuscitate the prestigious Accra Marathon.

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The refreshing news follows a Daily Graphic publication dated September 8, 2023, which gave a vivid account of the internationally acclaimed Accra Milo Marathon which had been in hibernation for the past six years due to lack of sponsorship.

The emotional narrative caught the attention of the management of FNB which swiftly jumped on board, beckoning other sponsors to follow suit. 

Sponsorship package

The Chief Executive Officer of the FNB, Warren Adams, who broke the news to the Daily Graphic, said the move was an opportunity for his outfit to help the organisers, Dansoman Keep Fit Club (DKFC), to relaunch the strategic platform that unearthed athletes and groomed them for international competitions.

He said apart from supporting the organisation of the event which would come off on November 11, 2023, and all its operations, the bank would be the headline sponsor holding the naming right, kit every runner, volunteer and official and provide adequate presence to guide the entire race for the three disciplines.

The five-year sponsorship deal will also take care of media and publicity of the high-profile event as the bank had already started engaging key media stakeholders to televise it and make it accessible to a wider audience outside Accra through other platforms such as social media, apps and websites.

“We want to be part of the efforts to revive what has been described as the most well-organised athletics competition, and with the introduction of other disciplines like the corporate and high school runs, we will unearth some more talents.

“Taking the headline sponsorship is the most viable way to go,” Mr Adams told the Daily Graphic in an interview.

“We are headlining one of the most recognised road races in Ghana, and we hope to reach a larger audience with our brand purpose of help, while demonstrating our support for lesser-known sports disciplines and the general fitness of the people in the communities we serve,” he added.

Other sponsors

He, however, said the door was left open for other corporate entities which wished to sponsor the Accra Marathon since FNB’s status as headline sponsor did not prevent the Dansoman outfit from engaging other partners.

“Our partnership with the DKFC as headline sponsor does not limit them from getting other corporate brands involved.

As much as possible, we want to give an impactful experience for runners, spectators, viewers, volunteers and crew.

“The DKFC is open to engage partners relevant to the outstanding return of the marathon event,” Mr Adams assured.

“We support the progressive digitisation of the First National Bank Accra Marathon.

One of the key differentiators for the resumption of the marathon after a six-year hiatus is the enhanced digital identification of all registered runners.

“We are also working with the DKFC to introduce some techniques and tools to enhance the preparation of participants,” he added.

Launch

He disclosed that the full sponsorship package would be announced at an official launch at the Accra Financial Centre at 9 a.m. today.

Background

On Friday, September 8, a Daily Graphic publication described the gloomy state of the Accra Milo Marathon following the withdrawal of the perennial sponsor, Nestle Ghana Limited.

Since the 29th edition in 2016, both patrons and organisers of the Accra Milo Marathon had no clue of a comeback anytime soon.  

At its peak, the famous Accra Milo Marathon produced the nation’s best long-distance runners for international competitions and was worth the time of some political elite, including Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and John Evans Atta Mills, both of whom had the honour of firing the starter's gun at various points in time.

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However, the same race that brought Accra to a standstill in a blaze of glory had left the nation's top long-distance runners in a mix of excitement and anxiety as they long for another resounding crack of the starter's pistol.

Eventually, the resolve of the organisers not to let the late Nii Ayikai Adjin-Tettey’s legacy die with him paid off with the sudden arrival of FNB to save the situation.

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