January 26, 2010

John Hancock Financial (Boston) has launched a Twitter site that will provide tweets about the 114th running of the Boston Marathon, marking the company's role as principal sponsor of the event.

Content for the site will include tweets on John Hancock's partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, the John Hancock Elite Athlete Program, its non-profit Bib Program, Employee Running and Fundraising Program, Marathon community initiatives, and additional Boston Marathon sponsorship news and information, according to a company press release. It also will include tweets about the marathoning world and its top runners, including those who will be participating in this year's race.

"With our new Twitter site, we will be able to provide ongoing information about the race and John Hancock's 25-year sponsorship to everyone who loves the Boston Marathon and loves to run," says Rob Friedman, head of Sports Marketing at John Hancock. "We intend to provide tweets on everything from updates on our elite field of athletes to updates on our amateur runners giving the course at Boston a first try. We hope followers will find the information useful, informative and entertaining. We hope the twitterverse will share our enthusiasm for the world's oldest annual, and, we think, greatest marathon."

John Hancock first sponsored the Boston Marathon in 1986 and over the past 25 years has provided substantial financial support to ensure the ongoing success of the race, according to a company source. Each year, John Hancock has recruited and sponsored a world class, elite athlete field for the race and has provided $13 million in prize and bonus awards. For this year's race on April 19th the company is offering a prize purse of $806,000, plus $220,000 for performance bonuses.

Employees of Hancock volunteer to help with marathon-related tasks and also participate in the race to raise money for local charities. Together with Hancock's Non-profit Bib entrants, $3.7 million was donated last year. Manulife employees who ran the Marathon also raised money for their designated charities. This fundraising and volunteer effort was part of Hancock's $10.6 million and 10,000 volunteer hours of total support given to Boston area non-profit and community service programs in 2009.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek ...