|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
WORLD MARATHON MAJORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
April 6, 2006
RICHARD FINN: I would like to thank everybody for joining us. It's a very exciting time for us in the sport. What we'd like to do is we will open it up with a brief opening remark from Mary Wittenberg here at the New York Road Runners, race director of the ING New York City Marathon. Then we will have Guy Morse from the BAA Boston Marathon say a few words. Then Dave Bedford from the Flora London Marathon stay a few words. I will then open it up for questions.
As part of the service of the World Marathon Majors Series media offices, we have Jack Fleming on from Boston, Marianne Caponi from Chicago, Jörg Wenig from Berlin, and Nicola Okey from Flora London. Everybody I hope has their contact information, so if there's any follow-up questions for specific race directors, you can please contact them.
Again, as part of our media services we will have a full transcript of this call, verbatim transcript of this call, available to everybody. We will send it out to the media probably within two or three hours or faster than that this afternoon. We hope that proves to be a service to everybody in the media.
I'd like to turn it over now to Mary Wittenberg, CEO and president of the New York Road Runners and race director of the ING New York City Marathon.
MARY WITTENBERG: Thank you. On behalf of our five organizations, welcome to all of the media. It's great to have you on our call.
Less than two weeks to go to the storied Boston Marathon and the celebrated Flora London Marathon and the start of our World Marathon Majors Series. We are excited. We're entering the series with great anticipation. We believe this is a moment we will all reflect on as among the most historic and significant in our sport. We're really stepping to the starting line a week from Monday of a whole new era of long distance running in the marathon.
This is really only the beginning. As a group, we have a very big agenda. We have high aspirations for this sport. We believe fervently in the sport and in our athletes. The whole idea of the five of us working together, of this World Marathon Majors Series, is to do all we can to elevate the sport, increase identity and awareness of our great athletes, and for our sport which we so believe in to be on par with the other great sports of the world.
Our sport is global. Our sport is grass roots. Our sport is professional. We think it's among the best of the best in the world. This is just our opening effort in our increasing focus on doing all we can to take this to the next level for the good of the sport.
RICHARD FINN: Thank you, Mary. I would like to introduce Guy Morse, the executive director of the Boston Marathon, which, as everybody knows, takes place a week from Monday in Boston, April 17th. Guy.
GUY MORSE: Thanks for reminding me, Richard (laughter). Again, as Mary said, I want to reiterate how excited we all are to begin this new world, if you would, in terms of long distance running. Everybody is looking with anticipation to the start of this series, both obviously starting in Boston on Patriots Day and London the following weekend.
It should be the beginning of a great time for our sport. As was said before, it's really the first step of many, but it's an important step, an untried step. It's going to add a new dynamic to how the media covers the event at the elite level, but also how the elite athletes choose where they run in the future. We see the interest growing. We see speculation growing over time. As the leaderboard begins to take shape with Boston, that's when that process really starts.
We have great contenders, both in London and Boston, to begin this process. Obviously, in Boston with Meb
Keflezighi, the great American running here, but Alan Culpepper, so many others that are really going to try to make a mark for themselves not only as the winner of the Boston Marathon, which in itself is something unique and special, but also to get on that leaderboard that begins this process.
As you know, Boston has been the site of so many revolutions through history. We see this as the start of another revolution in our sport, and we hope the shot we fire on April 17th is a very positive one and long-term successful one for marathoning in general.
RICHARD FINN: Thank you, Guy.
I'd like now to introduce Dave Bedford, race director of the Flora London Marathon, which takes place on the following Sunday, two weeks from this Sunday. Dave.
DAVE BEDFORD: Good day, everybody. We're in deep as you can imagine with the final preparations. We had to deal with the disappointment a couple days ago of Paula Radcliffe coming out of our race. Perhaps the evidence of how strong our race is that our event can withstand that. We still have a great women's race. We have probably the greatest men's race that's ever been put together with just two weeks ago. I don't expect any pullouts now. I think we're past that pullout season. At least my fingers are crossed. We're looking forward to being a full and working part of World Marathon Majors.
RICHARD FINN: Thank you, Dave.
I now will open it up for questions.
Q. This is still a new concept, but clearly it's been talked about for a while. Have you talked to any athletes who are already starting to arrange their schedules to take advantage of as many of these as possible? Any indication that people are looking at their calendars differently and scheduling them differently than they might have before?
CAREY PINKOWSKI: I think so. I there's a definite incentive for them to look at Boston and London in the spring, then Berlin, New York and Chicago. I mean, obviously we're funding this first prize payout. We're hoping that collectively as a group creatively we'll be able to increase that. This is just the first offering. I think it surely, in addition to the prize purses and the payouts that we have, it's a different added incentive that's caught the attention of the top athletes.
MARY WITTENBERG: I can add from New York that we've already seen I think a very good example, our Olympic gold medalist who is racing in London on the men's side, is already talking about coming back this fall, even though it potentially could be his third marathon. Of course, Carey and Mark and I are all very hopeful that Paula Radcliffe will feel that much more compelled to run this fall to be part of this.
Q. Mary mentioned that running is global, grass-roots and professional. From a media standpoint, how does having this new series, having the elites running in these races, how did that affect the regular four-hour marathoner, which as we know is what is making up the bulk of the races now?
DAVE BEDFORD: If I could have a go at that one.
At the moment, probably not very much. We are a body, an association of marathons who are, if you like, starting life with the bit that we know about, and that's the elite athletes. We are of course far more than that. The success of our marathons revolves around large numbers of ordinary people doing extraordinary performances taking part in our races.
You at the moment have only seen the first stage of our development, if you like. As time goes on and we become more confident and secure with our relationships, we will continue to be adding exciting additions to World Marathon Majors which will, of course, include activity which will be of interest to all runners and not just elite runners.
We are not quite there. One step at a time is the way we are going, but we are definitely going forward quickly.
GUY MORSE: Dave is right on the mark there. The impact initially is going to be just the excitement and speculation that's going to build. I think that is going to transcend not just the elite athletes, but obviously the media, and through the media to the spectators and the runners as they prepare and also review for their participation at Boston. It's a small step, it's just the first step. But the excitement generated is going to begin that process.
We have so many other things in mind that we'll follow up in the months and years ahead that will really begin to affect all the runners, from the first to the last.
MARY WITTENBERG: To add to that, as Guy is suggesting, this is a multi-prime approach. Increased media coverage of our athletes, increased TV coverage of our great athletes, and really the key is for our athletes to win the hearts and minds of the thousands, 150,000 other finishers in our five races this year, and then the general public beyond that.
We all believe that we have to really play up the unique aspect of our sport in that the masses are participating in the very same event on the very same road as these great stars. There's a lot that will naturally pull us together, and we're going to keep pushing on every front till we get to a point where there's great fan identification with our top stars.
DAVE BEDFORD: We have announced today, those journalists who are on this call will be able to see this announcement by talking to their favorite marathon director, we announced today that in addition with all of the major shoe companies, we will have an initiative in London which will directly affect the spectators on the course and the millions of people who watch on television, with the support of the major shoe companies we have all of the key men in the race wearing clearly colored and different strips from each other in an attempt to make what's happening in the race more visible and more easily understood by spectators. If it is successful, we hope that we would be able to roll out to the whole of World Marathon Majors.
Many of you will remember watching New York, where with a mile to go we had four people, all from Africa, all wearing the same color vests. This was, if you like, the final straw for me. Having discussed it with the shoe companies, they've been incredibly supportive in having a real (indiscernible) in London with the vests. We can certainly make sure you get that information through your local press office.
MARY WITTENBERG: Dave, was that determinative that you're the favorite race director or they get to choose their own?
DAVE BEDFORD: Mary, I'm sure you'll win hands down (laughter).
MARY WITTENBERG: I don't know about that.
Q. Guy Morse, have you noticed a heightened interest by media, by fans in general, by runners coming into Boston with this new situation?
GUY MORSE: Yes. We're beginning to feel that and see that now, as you say. As we get closer to Boston, that interest and that speculation is beginning to grow. The World Marathons Series as an initiative is now obviously out there, well-known. As even the rank-and-file runners are beginning to understand exactly what it's going to be like, what it's going to mean. We're getting many questions from the press in general and spectators in general who are trying to understand and make sure they understand and be ready for April 17th so they can understand not only what they're looking at but more importantly what placing at Boston well is really going to mean in the long-term.
Q. What kind of landscape are you seeing in terms of worldwide interest that is going to change the face of marathon running, if you can gather it at this early going?
MARY WITTENBERG: Dave, do you want to talk about Japan?
DAVE BEDFORD: I'll tell you what I have noticed, everywhere I travel, I was at the World Cross-Country last weekend, every race director that I meet asks, "How can we become part of your exciting development?" There has been talks with the new Tokyo marathon that starts shortly. They have been asking, "What is it we have to do to become part of this great series?" We have answered that we are events of the highest standard, we are mass participation, we are male and female, and we have significant elite fields, and all another marathon has to do is to get somewhere near those kind of standards and it would be natural for us to invite them to join us.
MARY WITTENBERG: I would just add that I also was in Japan for the world cross-country meet. We met with 12 journalists about New York. But the matter of greatest interest was the World Marathon Majors Series. I would also say that we've seen that from the New York Times inviting us in to sit down with the editors to talk about it, the five races.
We have definitely in New York seen heightened interest in all of our marathons as a result of the announcement of the series.
Q. One of the things I thought about getting to this runner identity thing is, what would be the possibility in at least the series races over the two years of having the same runners wear the same number, similar to soccer, baseball, football, where you know that Khalid Khannouchi is going to be No. 4, no matter where he's running. Any chance of that?
DAVE BEDFORD: Absolutely. It's very much part of my concept. Clearly, and I stress this is a trial in London, it will be interesting to see what people make of it, but for me it seems natural that we should build up the reputations and the way that our top athletes look. I believe.
Haile Gebreselassie, whenever he runs, should be running in the Ethiopian green strip, Khalid Khannouchi is an easy one, he looks great in black and should always be there. We have Stefano Baldini in London in a gold strip. I think we should identify the world record holder by an individual strip.
This needs support from the shoe companies. They, of course, have their own needs out of the sport. But I believe that if we can increase the awareness of who our champions are, they will also be the winners. As I say, they're working with us. This is Stage I. But that's absolutely how it should be.
CAREY PINKOWSKI: I would definitely reiterate what Dave says. It creates a broader-based exposure. People would be much more aware and be able to identify these athletes. I mean, here in Chicago, Khalid has always wore black, so people look for him in the black uniform. He's worn No. 2, his traditional number. There is a smaller example of that.
We can connect all of these five events where there's some energy that goes from event to event, ID'ing these athletes. Really the scope of this is to create a broader-based visibility for our events.
GUY MORSE: We're starting this process now. I think it will be successful.
Q. A couple years ago in Chicago, we actually made scorecards with numbers corresponding to athletes, handed them out to the spectators. I'll tell you, they really liked it.
CAREY PINKOWSKI: You're seeing the first example of the collaboration of the partnership with the series. But we have meetings planned where there's a creative session. We're putting all of our different individuals, marketing, PR, all these things. This is just the first public example of what we're doing as a group.
We have a lot of things on the drawing board and a lot of innovative and creative thought processes. Hopefully you'll see more examples of visibility coming out of those.
MARY WITTENBERG: We're smart enough to imitate. We're smart enough to cherry pick and take the best of ideas from other sports. Ideas like that of identification, the soccer jersey, the NASCAR number, the basketball jersey with designated numbers and names that people begin to associate with the athletes are all the kinds of ideas, including, as we've talked before, doing baseball card promotions and the like.
Dave just issued odds in London on the athletes in the race. It's all those types of things that help us create identification with the athletes. In the case of odds, it helps tell a story of the athlete in the context without anyone knowing the athlete. We love those ideas and expect to see many more of those from us. We welcome your input there, as well.
Q. Somebody alluded earlier, but what plans, if any, do you have for expansion of the series?
MARK MILDE: I guess it's already been mentioned, there is room for more marathons, but they would need to fulfill the criteria, which is to reach the size of the races that we have, to have a women's and men's field, and to have the elite runners participate in their own races.
There has been no discussions yet on what this number of races could or should be added.
GUY MORSE: Just to follow up on Mark, the important thing is to remember that this is just the beginning of our series. Certainly everything is on the table in the future. However, we're going to approach it very systemically, very thoughtfully to make sure we do the right thing.
Certainly just based on interest we could have a lot more events involved already. But our approach is to be, as I said, methodical, due diligence, and also really keep this thing simple. We want this thing to work. We want this thing to be fine-tuned as we go forward. That's why our points system, for example, is so simple to understand. The criteria, too, for the races in the future is going to depend on how the series rolls out, how successful it is, and what really does make sense. It is a long-term approach.
MARY WITTENBERG: I think it's significant that we drop the working name "Big Five" because we are open to a future where there may be another race or more of such significance. You can't underestimate the significance of these races. When you look at the great history and you look at the great athletes that have performed here, you look at the intangibles, the strong working relationships among the five of us, it's a high bar to hit, but I think when we all see it, we'll know it.
Q. At this point there are no marathons like a Honolulu that is on the horizon that you're looking at?
CAREY PINKOWSKI: The one thing I'd like to point out also is from the five race directors to the five organizations, there's a great deal of chemistry between our groups. We compete against each other on many levels, but we also realize that we can complement each other on many levels.
I think from the initial concept of this, this goes back to the New York City Marathon, ING New York City Marathon, LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, we collaborated on the Athens bonus where our group started working together on a promotional idea and a piece of business, and it went very well. We've always gravitated towards each other and communicated, but I think the five of us collectively started talking about issues and some challenges that we all have.
It takes a lot of chemistry. Each of our individual events, although we have operated successfully individually, we realize there's a much greater opportunity as a group. Although the BAA is inherently different than the way we do things, our organizations, business units, we were able to come to a partnership relatively quickly and convince our groups and organizations and sponsors of the tremendous upside of this.
I think there's a lot that goes into this. It's not just this is a promotional opportunity. There has to be a grounded business plan that connects all of us together. That's the big part of it. What comes out of this I think will elevate all of running, distance running, the sport of marathoning.
I think we have a lot of things in the works and a tremendous opportunity on a broad basis to come out of this. It's taken us a while to get the five of us together. We'll see what happens.
Q. I'm curious a little bit about what type of title sponsor you might be looking for. Is it going to be an investment group, something else? Who are you targeting and what are you pitching to them at the moment?
MARY WITTENBERG: First, we think is a hugely attractive property for a sponsor. We've seen a fair amount of interest, I'd say very strong interest, to date. We all believe strongly in relationships. We've had very strong relationships with our sponsors. So the way we approach this from the very outset was to get together and see where we had common categories open. It is those categories that will have an opportunity to come in. That's the way we began. There are a number of different categories that can make sense from technology to pharmaceuticals to snack food and the like.
What's really important to recognize is, again, what we're providing, the five of us, in totality every spring and every fall between 250, 300 million worldwide TV viewers, over five million spectators on our courses, over 300,000 applicants to our marathons alone, with over 150,000 finishers. Again, each of our races is limited in the number of runners we can accept, total entrants in the races that we all conduct, because we all put on more races than the marathon, more than half a million.
I think of great significance, again, a distinction point of our races and other sports, the charity monies raised led by London in totality, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, are next, more than $80 million raised each year.
The tradition of our races ranging from Boston at 109 years to the youngest of us being 25 years. Someone's association with us is with a well-established property in sports. Economic impact, more than $450 million a year from our various races, association with the very top athletes in our sport.
To close that, beyond all the major metrics, this is a sport and an activity that is good for people. We really believe running can change the world in a positive way. Companies are clammering for an association with that. This is a very unique opportunity to partner with the five of us.
DAVE BEDFORD: It's clear what we have to do is look for a sponsor who doesn't conflict directly with our own type of sponsors. Mary has given a key there as the areas we've identified that would work. We are working on it. We have appointed an agency to work with us to help us find the appropriate and best partner possible. As soon as we have news on that, you will know about it.
One of our aims of that partner is to double the current prize purse so that the winners each year will earn $1 million each.
Q. One thing you didn't touch on there that I'd be curious about is the demographics. Obviously you have a large number. I assume when you're pitching to a title sponsor, they're going to want a specific of what they're buying into. Do you have something that you organized that around?
DAVE BEDFORD: In London our demographic is 70% ABC1's.
Q. What does that mean?
DAVE BEDFORD: If you don't understand that, I'm not able to answer the question in a way that you will.
MARY WITTENBERG: Sounds intriguing.
CAREY PINKOWSKI: We track our demographics, male, female, where they come from. We've done economic impact evaluations. We do have a great deal of that data. It depends on what type of objective you have or sponsor objective or business objective. That is a valuable tool.
MARY WITTENBERG: What I would add is first international. In our collective races, you've got participants from well over a hundred countries around the world. Secondly, it's a goal-oriented, high-achieving group of people that take on the marathon. Only household income when you look at surveys like Runners World is up in the $90,000 range, US dollars. Number of upper management people from CEO to CIO, CMO types, a high percentage as well as graduate school individuals.
Q. As you talk about additional races coming in, let's say you had 15 marathons involved, how would that affect the scoring model? It seems to me the scoring model works best with a smaller number of races.
DAVE BEDFORD: There will not be 15 marathons in this series.
Q. What do you see as the maximum?
DAVE BEDFORD: I have no idea what the maximum is, okay? I know that our first step when we enlarge will be add to one and see what impact that has on us.
MARY WITTENBERG: There may be other ways that other races ultimately get involved with us as lead-ins to the tour, so to speak. All that is on the drawing board at this time.
Q. The World Championships Marathon is also a part of this circuit. Is the IAAF investing any money into the purse? What has been your ongoing dialogue with them?
DAVE BEDFORD: When we conceived this exciting plan, we had open, full and frank discussions with the IAAF. We did not want to be seen as a body that was breaking away from the sport. We didn't want to devalue the importance of the World Championships and the Olympic Games. We were delighted that the IAAF were excited about our plans and were happy for us to use the performances from those events within our scoring tables.
We see the IAAF as the world governing body. We believe that it is right for us to work closely with them with the developments of our sport of marathon running. They are not putting any money in.
Q. Is the London Marathon going to be on television in the United States?
DAVE BEDFORD: At this particular moment, no.
Q. While the series is increasing attention in the press, that's a good thing with the athletes, currently as it's structured it really only benefits one athlete every year. One athlete gets $500,000, and everyone else gets nothing. It seems to me in practicality, five or six athletes really are affected by the series now and will have a shot at winning it. Are there steps in the future maybe to get more athletes involved? You talk about increasing the prize purse to $1 million. You're only going to have six athletes maximum affected by the series. Can you comment on that a little bit?
CAREY PINKOWSKI: You have to remember each of these events also have their existing prize money and bonus structures also. There's an opportunity, revenue opportunity, for them in each of these events. But also it's a male and female that will be awarded the money.
As, as Dave mentioned, we're looking to increase that. On a broad based, our first collaboration, it's a much broader based offering of visibility. I think to the elite athletes, it limits to two athletes, but on a grander scale it elevates us.
As I said, we have a lot of other opportunities. The payoff may increase. We're looking at some other options of the there's some creative dialogue going into this.
MARY WITTENBERG: I would only add the million dollar number is key. This is a major sport it needs to be major dollars. If we can get to the point of a million per top finisher, as we draw more and more attention, bring in more sponsorship dollars, we'll have the opportunity to consider beyond this initial foray with the series.
Q. Care assuming Boston and/or New York are awarded the Olympic trials for the US marathon trials, there was an athlete in a position to potentially score points or be in contention for the overall series prize, they might be faced with having to choose between the trials race and running the open Boston, open New York. Has that issue been thought of and addressed?
GUY MORSE: It's certainly been thought of. First of all, you're making a big assumption on where the trials are. Beyond that, yes, things like that are going to enter into the dynamic. They're definitely -- we're definitely going to come to a point at various points of the year where those considerations are going to need to be taken into account.
It's part of the intrigue, part of the speculation, part of the dynamic. It's going to go on not only on the part of us as events, but also in the psyche of the athletes.
MARY WITTENBERG: I would add, as Guy said, we don't know where the trials will be. We will be quite pleased if they're in Boston, New York. We can pitch you all day as to why they should be. We're hopeful that will be the end result.
I think what's key to this is that our athletes in the end will be protected and have their opportunity to go for the run of this. If you look specifically at the situations, if New York gets the bid for the men, then the very worst-case scenario is we're in the ideal and exciting position of having one of our top athletes, let's use Meb as an example, they have the opportunity to run -- there's a maximum four races that can count over the two-year period. They have to run a minimum one per year. If they're in the hunt, the worst-case scenario is they have to decide to go ahead, they will have run in the spring this year, the fall this year, next spring, and the worst-case scenario is to go after the extra marathon in Osaka for the World Championships. Then they have about exactly the same amount of time as Meb had after Athens to come back and run in New York to make the team.
In that very specific situation where someone is a contender, there's an option to still get the points. It should be an option that an athlete of that caliber should still be able to make the Olympic team as running New York after Osaka.
If you look at Boston, it won't be an issue until the next years in 2007, 2008. Again, the athlete should have enough other opportunities with the races to gather the points necessary to go for the title wins.
Q. Has there been talking to any National Federations about the possibility of them holding either World or Olympic trials using one of these existing races to do that as opposed to setting up next two, alongside, instead of one of these races?
DAVE BEDFORD: Each year the Flora London Marathon acts as a trial event for the major championships of that summer. That's already happening here. We have a great relationship with the UK Athletics. That already working very well over here.
Q. Anybody else?
MARK MILDE: More or less the same for Berlin. There's no such trial system which does exist in the States. Also many other athletes from other countries try to qualify for championships here in Berlin.
MARY WITTENBERG: What I would add from New York, speaking on behalf of New York, not the five, our strong belief is that London and Berlin have the right model. There are countries and Federations that are amazing athletes should be on the largest platform possible. They should be in front of millions of spectators. They should be live on TV. The best setup we believe would be in the context of these major races.
Our athletes can win medals in Olympic Games. They can perform very well in these international races. We think they're currently being shortchanged by being set aside in a separate race. What we've done in New York and we've talked extensively with Chicago and Boston is all made the most of it. We understand why there are sponsor and TV issues that currently prevent it. We certainly all see it. We're going to work hard to reach the right result for our athletes.
Q. What would it take to get the London Marathon on television in North America?
DAVE BEDFORD: We could run the women with no shorts and tops (laughter).
MARY WITTENBERG: I'd have to file a formal protest.
Q. In other words, there's no chance?
CAREY PINKOWSKI: As I mentioned earlier, one of the things we're doing, after the London Marathon, we are meeting in London. One of the things we're discussing is television, international television, integrating these events, using these resources and networks we have to try to take the product, the great Flora London Marathon is not seen in the United States, probably one of the greatest marathons staged, to have it seen in the United States adds to the energy and excitement that we do. Obviously, Berlin is not seen here. Ironically, Chicago is seen on a national broadcast in Japan. Those are some of the things we're moving towards.
MARY WITTENBERG: TV is our first business priority. (Indiscernible) may very well win in London this year. That should be shown in the United States. United States races should be shown in the United States. I can share on behalf of all of us that our commitment is there to do all we can to garner TV in the United States, as Carey said, increase TV worldwide.
Q. I'd be interested in hearing what Glenn has to say.
GLENN LATIMER: Currently under the United States Olympic Committee rules, if it smells like an Olympic trials, you use the world "Olympics," you have rings attached to it, there are very strict rules about what you can and can't do. That isn't necessarily the case in some of the other countries. There's a re-education with USOC of what is and isn't possible to involve some of the World Marathon Majors events, if that's how we're going to select an Olympic team in the future. I think those discussions will take place in the future.
RICHARD FINN: Thank you, Glen.
Q. It seems like with the World Championships last year, then the World Cross just recently, these webcasts seem to have been successful beyond any expectation. Has there been any discussion among the five marathons to get some sort of package deal where London would be on, there might have to be a blackout in England, but there could be a worldwide webcast of these five races?
CAREY PINKOWSKI: That's one of the things that we're going to bring to our TV meeting, is some options that we have. We have some things we're going to present. There's going to be obviously a creative session where we talk about all these options. Yes, it's in discussion.
GUY MORSE: That sort of idea, for example the question was asked about London being shown in the States, that and the webcasting issue is something that are becoming more and more important to us. Obviously, we've begun the process of discussing how best to make that work. We all have individually quite extensive commitments with our national broadcasters or local broadcasters. All of these things need to be surmounted. I think they will be surmounted given enough time. That is definitely an objective.
There was an earlier question about sponsorship, the business side of it. As we talk to potential sponsors, which by the way is not easy because when you look at our five races, negate all of the exclusive categories that our major sponsors enjoy, it narrows the field. We're confident we'll find that perfect sponsor that has our support and also by the way has the support of all of our major sponsors who are very much in support of this effort.
The television aspect and the webcasting aspect are important not only to us rudimentally, but also to a business deal with a sponsor.
DAVE BEDFORD: Can I ask the journalists who are still online, if they haven't seen the release on running in vests and the opening odds for London, if they could send an email to our head of press, firstname.lastname@example.org, she will forward one to you immediately.
RICHARD FINN: We appreciate everybody's time from the worldwide media, certainly the time of our five race directors. Again, we will have a full transcript available of the call. We will get that out to you as soon as possible. If there's any follow-up questions that you would like or need, please contact any of us in our press offices at the specific races.
GUY MORSE: I also just wanted to invite everyone, if they're going to be in Boston, the first round here on Saturday, April 15th at 2:00 we have a reception and an information session for the media at Cheer's, at the Hampshire House in Boston. If you haven't received an invitation, let us know, we'll get you an invitation, get you on that list. We'd love to follow up with any questions at that point, too.
RICHARD FINN: I think that concludes the news conference. We look forward to seeing you and working with everyone in the coming days and weeks.
End of FastScripts...