As of January 2016, Charlotte’s hometown marathon is sporting a new name: the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon (if that’s a surprise to you, sorry for the spoiler, but welcome to the club. If you need some catching up, watch the video below).
The new name has brought with it excitement as well as questions. Is there a new owner? (No) Is it the same course? (Yes) Did the marathon sell out to a big corporate sponsor? (No) Is it true that there’s a new pogo-sticking division? (ok we made the last one up, but never say never). To try and settle any remaining questions, we’re sharing a bit of the backstory, heart and process behind the move from Thunder Road to Charlotte Marathon.
“To be honest, I don’t really care that much about NASCAR. But Charlotte? I love my city.”
That snippet of conversation after a NoDa Run Club confirmed a reoccurring sentiment of many, hinting that it may be time for change. If you haven’t noticed, Charlotte is growing, it’s identity is evolving and there’s infectious city-pride.
In October, right before the (last) Thunder Road, Tim Rhodes, marathon race director, sat down with Moonlight Creative Group (the minds behind our marketing and dreamers behind our design) to answer the question, “How do we continue to create a marathon experience everyone in Charlotte can embrace as their own?” The meeting only served to confirm the perception shift that we had been feeling. It was clear, a rebrand/renaming was in order.
The New Name
The marathon has always been Charlotte’s hometown marathon; the change simply gave the name to prove it. Several people have asked about the inclusion of Novant Health’s name in the titling. Our “core name” is Charlotte Marathon which is the part of our name that has changed. We feel fortunate that Novant Health will continue to title our race (similar to the naming of many other well-known marathons, TCS New York Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon etc.). With a shared love of Charlotte, we’ve been able to develop a special partnership with Novant Health, donating over $59,000 to Hemby Children’s Hospital since 2013. We’re so grateful for how sponsorship relationships help us create an unforgettable race experience.
The New Logo
Charlotte Marathon needed a new look to match the new name. Working within a stylized version of the Queen City’s crown, Moonlight Creative helped put Charlotte’s identity front and center, pairing with the bold, unapologetic tagline, “Our Streets. Our City. Our Marathon.”
After marking the decision to rebrand, top-secret launch preparations were kicked into high-gear. From video shoots to a new website, social media to swag, the marathon team and Moonlighters worked the late night hours needed to be ready for a January 16 surprise announcement. Whether you read about it on the Charlotte Agenda, followed along on #weloveclt, or watched the launch video, the buzz around the city solidified our excitement to truly embrace our place as Charlotte’s Marathon.
We believe that a new name and a new logo don’t mean anything without the people who put in the miles. Whether you’re setting the pace or finishing for the first time, we want to invite you to make the Charlotte Marathon your own. We know that sometimes all it takes is the right person to change someone’s mindset from “never!” to “Why not me?” which is why we’ve picked an awesome team of ambassadors to help make our marathon an unforgettable experience. These ambassadors will be putting on events all year long and would love to talk with you about how you can get involved. So, you’re invited! Come out to our events (our next one is May 11 at NoDa Brewery), talk to one of our ambassadors, share why you #runcharlotte, or come out and cheer! Because ultimately, this is more than just a rebrand, it’s a chance to celebrate marathon moments in a city we love.
We can’t wait to see how you make Charlotte Marathon your own. Register today to run our inaugural year as the Charlotte Marathon.