GREENVILLE — With nearly 300 athletes competing in last year’s Tri Greenville triathlon and now a three-year sponsorship commitment from two area businesses, the future is bright for the event.
Spectrum’s United and Kelsey hospitals and Chemical Bank are teaming up as co-sponsors for the 2014 triathlon. Each business has signed on to a three-year deal, promising $5,000 per year each through 2016.
“We’re looking for those longer-term commitments so that we can focus on securing other sponsors and other details of the triathlon,” said Kris Berry, Recreation and Community Center director. “So it’s nice to have that kind of commitment from various sponsors.”
After a successful first go around, the event, which features a one-quarter mile swim, 11.8 mile bike ride and wraps up with a 5K run, had last year’s sponsors ready to sign back on for this coming year.
“We see it as a good event for the community that showcases the community and the people in the community,” said Terry Conley, Chemical Bank of Greenville branch sales manager. “It’s a great opportunity for Greenville to be seen by a whole new group of people, because athletes come from all over. We’re certainly proud to help promote the area.”
Chemical Bank was the title sponsor for this year’s triathlon, while United and Kelsey sponsored the kids triathlon. This year, both will serve as joint title sponsors.
“Spectrum Health United and Kelsey hospitals are thrilled to be partnering with Tri Greenville and Chemical Bank to bring our community a fun event that encourages healthy lifestyles,” said Tina Freese-Decker, president of the two hospitals.
As part of the agreement, which is worth $10,000 annually ($5,000 each) from Chemical Bank and Spectrum Health United and Kelsey hospitals.
The two businesses will become co-title sponsors for the event, sharing in the naming rights. Snap Fitness and Dr. Lisa Pullum of Michigan Pain Consultants have also signed on for three-year sponsorships worth $2,000 each annually.
“I’m just happy that we have these institutions willing to make this type of commitment, with the gift being greater than it was the previous year and seeing what a benefit it is for all of us,” said Greenville City Councilman Brian Greene.
Organizers expect this year’s numbers to reach the maximum number of participants the event can support, which is 400 athletes.
The success of the first year, which filled the streets and shorelines along the course, has captured the attention of additional event sponsors, which Berry said are already lining up.
She said she’s already had several area businesses express interest in jumping on board with the event, which is scheduled for May 31, 2014.