Virgin Group has signed a £17m five-year deal to become the official sponsor of the London Marathon. The move comes after Unilever-owned Flora announced in December it was scrapping its 14-year association with the event.
Virgin Money, the financial services arm of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group will lead the partnership and says it hopes the event will raise greater amounts of money for good causes during its five-year tenure.
The company will take over after the 2009 race, the last to be sponsored by Flora. From 2010, the thirtieth London Marathon will be branded the Virgin London Marathon.
Virgin Money chief executive Jayne Anne Gadhia says the company is aiming to help the marathon runners to continue to “blow all other fundraising events out of the water”.
Since it began in 1981, the London Marathon has raised £400m for charity, Virgin says it hopes runners will raise as much as £250m during its sponsorship.