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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Inside Athletics' Tim McGrath talks about ASICS sponsorships of Aussie Athletes - all good news!

Inside Athletics' Tim McGrath talks about ASICS sponsorships of Aussie Athletes - all good news!

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Written by Tim McGrath
Inside Athletics
Created on 06 November 2013

An entrepreneurial spirit is helping to keep the dream of Australian athletes alive.

The recent announcement by Asics that it will back the newly formed Sydney Running Academy is the latest example of small groups of dedicated athletes and their supporters making the sport commercially viable.

Asics are the naming rights sponsor of the Ken Green coached Sydney Running Academy, which features international representatives Jeremy Roff, Jeff Hunt, James Nipperess and Ben Moreau and up and coming athletes, Rob Lister, Jack Stapleton and Kate Spencer.

“We’re thrilled by the partnership with the Sydney Running Academy,” said Asics’ Senior Marketing Manager, Sam Chew.

“Working with Ken and the Academy athletes will ensure that the brand has a stronger presence at all the major athletic track & field competitions, and road running events around the country.

“We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership.”

Asics are also supporting the work of Hayden Knowles’ Pirtek Competitive Edge Athletics Allstars, which announced yesterday that world youth finalist Jarrod Geddes was the winner of its search for Australia’s fastest man.

The 19-year-old was selected by a field of experts ahead of London Olympians Andrew McCabe and Tim Leathart to receive a contract to support him through to the Rio Olympics, with the aim to develop him into an Olympic finalist in the sport’s blue riband event.

While the success of some squads of athletes in creating commercial properties is a great positive for the sport, it is hoped that the entrepreneurial vision, skill and willingness to adapt will continue to flow upward through to the sport’s national body so as to provide opportunities to athletes above what Australian Sports Commission funding provides for.

Athletics Australia, who also have Asics as their footwear and apparel sponsor, is currently without a major sponsor for the upcoming domestic season, after Qantas withdrew their support after two years.

AA’s recently announced National Athlete Support Structure, derived solely through taxpayer funding from the Australian Sports Commission, has been criticised by a number of athletes, including publicly by Paralympic legend Evan O’Hanlon and Olympian Melissa Breen, with several international athletes not receiving any financial support.

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