Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, and the Asian Athletic Association (AAA) – the governing body of athletics in Asia – have established a Preparatory Committee for a new Asian sports league: the Asian Premier Marathons (APM) league.
The new league aims to raise the competition level and international appeal of marathon events in Asia as well as attract more high-level Asian athletes to participate in top-tier APM events.
APM is billed as the first continental marathon event league in the world. As a founding member of the Preparatory Committee, and a shareholder and operator of the APM, Infront will handle all marketing and communications including the commercialisation of sponsorship opportunities around the events.
As a result, a high level communication platform is underway with Asian marathon participants encouraged to cross borders to compete in other races and communicate with fellow runners across Asia.
In addition, leveraging the strengths of the event operators in TV broadcasting and media communication, APM events will be broadcast live across all member countries and territories to increase the continental and international influence of the events.
Bringing together the region’s top marathon events
Establishing the APM as a premium marathon event league in the region, IAAF Gold Label events have reportedly been quick to realise the value of the new platform. The Beijing Marathon and Seoul Marathon have already confirmed and more Asian marathon events are expected to join by early 2017.
Further discussions are already in place with organising committees from the Dubai Marathon, Xiamen Marathon and the newly formed Shanghai Oriental International Marathon.
The league is planned to be launched alongside the 2017 Beijing Marathon.
Boosting global appeal of marathons in Asia
Du Zhaocai, Director of China Athletics Administration Centre said “The establishment of the Preparatory Committee of the Asian Premier Marathons marks the official launch of the organisation and preparation work of the highest level marathon league in Asia.
“The objective of APM is to attract city marathons in Asia that have high levels of competition, organisation and attention. Furthermore, we are aiming at increasing the international appeal and influence of the events organised by APM members by building a high-level continental communication platform that raises the level of marathon events in Asia.”
Anne Zhao, Managing Director at Infront China said “We are very excited to see the official launch of the APM Preparatory Committee. We have high expectations for the events in terms of the class of the APM member events and the future prospects. We believe that such an event league will undoubtedly further boost the popularity of marathons in Asia.”
As the governing body of athletics in Asia, and headquartered in Singapore, the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) has 45 member associations. The Chinese Athletic Association, Hong Kong Amateur Athletics Association, Macau Athletics Association and Chinese Taipei Athletics Association are all members of the AAA. The main responsibility of AAA is to ‘develop athletics in Asia, formulate plans for athletics competitions in Asia, promote good relationships among AAA member associations, fight against racial, religious and political discriminations and ensure that athletes participate in competitions in compliance with rules and regulations formulated by AAA.’
Infront Sports & Media manages a comprehensive portfolio of properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront adds that it enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies.
Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.