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The Sponsored Marathon Photo – an Emerging Model

No better moment than a marathon photo

The marathon photo has been around since running events became a popular leisure and recreational activity. Runners train months for a marathon – and  love to get their moments of achievement memorized in great photos during race day.

For years the dominant business model driving the marathon photo was selling photos to athletes. This model is becoming challenging for race photographers these days. People are taking and sharing photos all day using their smart phones and are reluctant to pay for photos.

Yet, at the same time, race finishers are still enthusiastic about sharing their race experience with their friends. This would usually translate to sharing their race photos to their social media profiles.

Sponsored race photography offers an alternative, up-to-date model. With this model the race or (more likely) the race sponsors would pay for having athletes’ photos taken and instantly posted to the athletes’ social media profiles.

Moving Into The Future – The Sponsored Marathon Photo

Athletes can now enjoy having their professionally taken photos posted to social media – free of charge. The marathon photo is branded with a sponsors’ logo/watermark and exposed to the hundreds of thousands of social media friends of the athletes – generating huge social media reach and on-line buzz for the sponsor.

Race owners will enjoy providing a great service to the athletes and “free” marketing for the race.

For race photographers, this model secures the income through a fixed fee set prior to the race. In addition they might also have the chance to sell the high-res photos for extra revenues. Plus, operating Sponsored Race Photography should be simple – given the right platform is used. It is very important that the photography-operation would not get complex or require special equipment.

How This Will Work For Everyone


At the same time – it is important that there is a fast photo-tagging solution (based on automated bib number recognition) in place as well as an instant social media photo-sharing technology available. Athletes, sponsors and fans would like to see the branded photos sorted and posted to social media as soon as possibly – within minutes or hours rather than days!

Leading race sponsors such as Samsung, Gillette, Adidas, Nike, The North Face and Vodafone are already utilizing the sponsored marathon photo model in key events around the globe. Be sure to check out their stuff in events like the Malta Marathon, Moscow Marathon, Tel Aviv Marathon, El Cruce Colombia, The North Face Endurance Challenge and many others!

Vodafone Malta Marathon 2014 Instructing Athletes about getting their free sponsored race photos


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