Icelandair sponsors anna.aero’s Marine Corps Marathon on back of big 16 North American destinations
Icelandair, forever launching new routes on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently to Orlando in September, was the exclusive sponsor of anna.aero’s TeamBron in Washington DC’s 40th Marine Corps Marathon on 25 October, raising a considerable sum for the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Institute, a research organisation with global benefits.
anna.aero’s “TeamBron” raises money for a variety of cancer causes in celebration of the life of the publisher’s 12-year-old daughter, Brontë, who lost a long battle with leukaemia in 2011.
As its name suggests, the Marine Corps Marathon is organised by the US military and fittingly starts and finishes at the Pentagon. That aside, the course, while featuring more hills than most marathons, isn’t as particularly gruelling as you might expect and, in fact, majors on a tour of all the obvious Washington DC monuments and sights. This didn’t prevent the regular father-son TeamBron crew (anna.aero Publisher Paul Hogan and Max – a student of Marymount University in Arlington VA) logging some pretty dreadful times on the day.
“I missed my family cheering station at Watergate and had to run backwards 500 metres to find them,” grovelled the 50-something anna.aero Publisher. However, even assuming he lost the best part of 10 minutes on this task, it doesn’t quite explain how he put in his dismally slow time of 4 hours 29 minutes – his 10th fastest time in his 10th marathon. “The worst aspect of this is that I wasn’t racing against the other 30,000 entrants, I wanted to beat Budapest Airport CCO, Kam Jandu, who completed the Chicago Marathon earlier this month in a time of 4 hours 27 mins. Raising the money is all very well, but this is the first time I have lost to my wicked adversary. I’m inconsolable,” said the aging, but not particularly mature, publishing executive.
Icelandair’s growing North American branding
With 14 current North American destinations, and two more to launch next year (Chicago O’Hare and Montreal), Icelandair is now a major recognised brand in North America, especially in Washington DC where the Metro system is heavily decorated with Icelandair advertisements enticing customers to make an Iceland stopover en-route to its 20 destinations in Europe. “The team received constant shouts of ‘come on Icelandair’ which was a bit curious when we first heard it and we looked around to see who they were shouting at. When we realised it was for us we became immediately proud to represent an airline which continues to expand its route network in such a creative and enterprising way.” (Although Hogan also later expressed concern that the many spectators in the American capital didn’t all think that Icelandair representatives were as slow as the anna.aero team were on the day.)
“We’re all incredibly grateful to Icelandair – the CEO himself, Birkir Hólm Guðnason, engineered this sponsorship package together with Thorsteinn Egilsson, General Manager – The Americas, and Michael Raucheisen, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Icelandair USA Marketing. anna.aero thanks Icelandair, George Washington University Cancer Institute thanks them, and the benefiting families thank them for their generosity, and for being such great characters and sports,” said Hogan.