I have decided to dig into the history of my 1st Marathon and share a brief timeline of its Title Sponsors.
Since September 23, 1905, the Chicago Marathon, organized first by the Illinois Athletic Club (1905-1909), then sponsored by the Chicago Daily News after 1910 was held annually, with significant community and spectator support, until the early 1920s.
The “modern era” first marathon held on September 25, 1977. More than 4,200 runners turned out for the first Chicago Marathon, making it the largest marathon in the world. 2,128 actually finished. Entry fee: $5 (!)
The Title Sponsors:
1977-1978 Sponsor: Lee Flaherty, Flair Communications. Race name: The Mayor Daley Marathon, named after the Chicago Mayor.
1979-1986 Sponsor: Beatrice Foods. Race name: America’s Marathon.
1987 No sponsor, No Marathon. Only Half Marathon Race held that year.
1988-1990 Sponsor: Heileman Brewing Company. Race name: Heileman’s Old Style Chicago Marathon.
1991-1993 No sponsor.
1994-2007 Sponsor: LaSalle Bank. Race name: LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, the longest time sponsor (14 years). On October 1, 2007, only six days before the race, Bank of America acquired LaSalle Bank’s parent company and assumed the races title sponsorship.
2008-current Sponsor: Bank of America. Race name: Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
More history facts can be found on Bank of America Chicago Marathon history page.