Grandma’s Marathon Adds Coca-Cola as New Presenting Sponsor

April 2, 2024

5-Year Agreement Includes 2024-28 Race Weekends

DULUTH, MINN./ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Grandma’s Marathon and longtime sponsor Coca-Coca have agreed to an elevated partnership through 2028, the organization announced today.

Already one of the event’s longest-running sponsors – more than four decades – Coca-Cola Beverages of Duluth, which is a subsidiary of Viking Coca-Cola based in St. Cloud, Minn., will now become a presenting sponsor of the annual event for the first time and enjoy a more prominent presence at all race weekend events.

“To have a decades-long relationship in our industry is invaluable, and we’re fortunate to have had a brand like Coca-Cola aligned with our race almost since day one,” Grandma’s Marathon Executive Director Shane Bauer said. “Their values and goals align with ours, and we’re excited for the opportunities that still exist for growth as they elevate to the role of presenting sponsor.”

One of the highlights of the agreement is a combined commitment to increasing the event’s sustainability efforts, including Coca-Cola providing compostable cups to use at each of the water stations for both Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

In switching its 400,000 cups from paper to compostable, the event will see more than a 90 percent reduction in the on-course waste generated on Grandma’s Marathon weekend.

Compostable cups will also be used at other race weekend events, including but not limited to the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner and Essentia Health Fitness Expo.

Coca-Cola also provides Powerade powdered mix and Dasani bottled water for use on Grandma’s Marathon weekend and is the official sponsor of both the William A. Irvin 5K water station and the finish line replenishment drink of Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Coca-Cola becomes the fourth presenting sponsor of Grandma’s Marathon, joining Toyota, Members Cooperative Credit Union, and ASICS.

For any questions or interview requests, please contact Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider via phone at (218) 343-9874 or via email at zach@grandmasmarathon.com.



Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. After seeing just 150 participants that year, the race weekend has now grown into one of the largest in the United States and welcomes more than 20,000 participants for its three-race event each June.

The race got its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma’s Restaurants, the first major sponsor of the marathon. In addition to the 26.2-mile race, the organization has now added the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and William A. Irvin 5K to its weekend offerings.

As the popularity of Grandma’s Marathon has grown, our mission has stayed the same – to organize, promote, and deliver annual events and programs that cultivate running, educational, social, and charitable opportunities to our communities.

Grandma’s Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a nine-person, full-time staff and a 17-member Board of Directors.