City and Com­rades or­gan­is­ers ex­tend part­ner­ship in race

The Witness - - NEWS - THA­BANG MATHE­BULA • tha­bang.mathe­bula@wit­ness.co.za

PI­ETER­MAR­ITZBURG is gear­ing up for the fast ap­proach­ing Com­rades Marathon.

In prepa­ra­tion for the ea­gerly awaited event Msun­duzi mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the Com­rades Marathon As­so­ci­a­tion have re­newed their part­ner­ship agree­ment.

At the City Hall on Fri­day Com­rades gen­eral man­ager Chris Fisher and Msun­duzi mayor Themba Njilo sealed a three­year part­ner­ship lease that will see both par­ties equally shar­ing a piece of the pie through host­ing the race.

The city is pre­par­ing to wel­come thou­sands of vis­i­tors from across the world and the coun­try who will take part in or at­tend the ul­tra­marathon which fin­ishes in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg on June 4. “It’s a part­ner­ship agree­ment that will ben­e­fit both the City and the Com­rades brand,” Fisher said.

He said Com­rades takes place in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg and Dur­ban, and both cities have ben­e­fited sig­nif­i­cantly by host­ing ei­ther the start or the fin­ish. “Com­rades has a huge eco­nomic im­pact in both cities that ex­ceeds R600 million. We are proud to have such a pos­i­tive im­pact on the prov­ince’s econ­omy,” Fisher added.

As part of the deal the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will as­sist with re­pair of pot­holes and street lights, and the Com­rades start venue ban­ner in front of the City Hall will re­main in place as part of ad­ver­tis­ing the race.

Fisher said both par­ties have also erected the gran­ite mon­u­ment at the top of Polly Shortts, which is the last big hill of the Com­rades up­run.

“To­gether with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity we will con­tinue to ex­plore other busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties that would ben­e­fit both par­ties,” added Fisher.

Fisher said that a sim­i­lar agree­ment was also signed with eThek­wini.

On the other hand, the city’s con­tri­bu­tion to the event in­volves: • Pro­mot­ing the event by means of ad­ver­tis­ing, mar­ket­ing and other com­mu­ni­ca­tion;

• Pro­vid­ing elec­tric­ity and in­fra­struc­ture at the start and fin­ish venues;

• Pro­vid­ing Metro traf­fic con­trol, fire and dis­as­ter man­age­ment ser­vices;

• Erect­ing the start ban­ner for a down run. On the up run the gantry shall also be made avail­able.

Msun­duzi mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son Thobeka Ma­fum­batha said the part­ner­ship brings tourism and eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the city.

“The mu­nic­i­pal­ity agrees to pro­vide as­sis­tance on all op­er­a­tional prepa­ra­tion ac­tiv­i­ties. Com­rades Marathon ex­poses the city to over six million tele­vi­sion view­ers, and 110 coun­tries through live streaming, ad­ver­tis­ing on the Com­rades web­site and so­cial me­dia, in­ter­views by the mayor on tele­vi­sion, and co­brand­ing of both Msun­duzi and Com­rades mon­u­ments,” she said.

PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

Msun­duzi mayor Themba Njilo (left) and Com­rades gen­eral man­ager Chris Fisher sign­ing a fur­ther three­year part­ner­ship at the City Hall on Fri­day.

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