Runners Value Sports Sponsors More than the General Public According to Recent Survey by Elevent

July 19, 2022

Three-quarters of Runners Surveyed Reported that Sponsors are Essential to Sporting Organizations and Events

MONTRÉAL – July 19, 2022/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Elevent, North America’s leading provider of sponsorship lifecycle management software, consulting services, and research, today unveiled the results of a recent survey of American adult runners and their unique perceptions of sports sponsors. The results reveal a dedicated fanbase with a positive perception of sports sponsors, and more willingness to engage with sponsors at events than the general public.

Elevent recently conducted a comprehensive survey of 2,000 adults (18+) in the U.S. designed to uncover the impact of sports sponsorship on consumer perspectives [hyperlink to main release]. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed identified as runners and 78% of this subset also identified as being competitive runners. Key findings are that runners are more sponsorship savvy than the general public, including both a more positive perception of sponsors and willingness to engage with them. More information about the survey methodology can be found at the end of this announcement.

Survey results suggest that brands evaluating sports sponsorships may want to explore opportunities to sponsor races and otherwise engage the running fanbase:

  • When asked to what extent they agree or disagree with the statement “sponsors are essential to funding” sporting events, 75% of runners agreed. More than half also reported that “sponsors have a positive impact on the experience” and that “sponsors improve their image” by sponsoring events. However, 49% or runners and 55% of those that identified as competitive runners feel “there are too many sponsors at events.”
  • The survey also asked about willingness to engage with sponsors at sporting events and roughly half of those that identify as runners responded positively, specifically:
    • 69% “like the samples they hand out”
    • 60% “like trying their products”
    • 55% “like getting information about products and services,” and
    • 46% “like to take part in contests to meet athletes and celebrities.”
  • In particular, competitive runners like to take part in contests (49%) and tend to participate more frequently (41%); they are also more likely to prioritize buying a sponsor’s product (36%).
  • Competitive runners span all age groups, with the highest concentration being 18-44 year old’s (59%); tend to be relatively evenly split across gender (59 male / 42 female); have university degrees (65%); and are more likely to be employed (75%). They are also more likely to be married (665) and make more than $100,000 a year (44%).

“Running events such as marathons and 5Ks should not be overlooked by brands that want to make an impact with a highly desirable, engaged fanbase,” said Francis Dumais, Managing Partner of Elevent. “Elevent works with several running events to provide the sponsorship intelligence needed to increase sponsorship revenues and retain high-performing sponsors. Moreover, we provide brands with a single solution for evaluating and capitalizing on all forms of sports and entertainment opportunities, including running events.”


Elevent conducted an online survey of adult Americans (18 years of age and over) with 2,000 surveys completed in Q1 2022. The purpose of the survey was to understand how sports sponsorships impact American consumers. The comprehensive survey included questions on a broad range of topics including sports sponsorship impact, CSR and athlete advocacy, stadium naming rights, sports fanbase and more. n=437 respondents identified as runners (those who run/jog at least once or twice a year, with a vast majority running/jogging at least once a week) and n=343 respondents identified as competitive runners (having participated in a competitive running race). The full survey results were weighted using Census Bureau data based on age, gender, race and region of residence of respondents with a margin of error of ±2% (based on probability, with a confidence level of 95%).

To learn more about Elevent, this survey of consumer perspectives on the impact of sports sponsorship, or to arrange a demo of its Sponsorship Lifecycle Management platform, contact info@elevent.co.

About Elevent

Elevent is the leader in sponsorship intelligence: technology-assisted and data-focused sponsorship evaluation, selection, measurement and management. Combining breakthrough technology development, deep marketing domain expertise, and world-class research capabilities, Elevent takes the guesswork out of strategic sponsorship investment, maximizing ROI. Headquartered in Montreal, with a growing presence in the U.S., Elevent works with name brands across North America in the consumer goods, financial services, hi-tech, and non-profit spheres. For more information, see: elevent.co.

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