Corporate FLM Places

I finally got a place in last year's FLM after years of applying through the ballot. Was worth the wait, inspite of carrying an injury on the day

As expressed previously on other threads, my view remains that all FLM places should be allocated purely on an ability, or club or ballot basis - money/bribes should not be a factor (am odd that way)

Therefore, I was a little shocked a few weeks ago to be offered a 'corporate place' for FLM'04 by someone who works for a firm that, he said, had bought a number of places for clients. Alternatively (and less controversially) I was offered a hospitality package for the day with a nice view/lunch and a boat trip..

A little outraged, I turned down both offers (IDIOT !!) - has anyone else come across this ?

Realise he may have been telling porkys - seems unlikely though



  • Also not so sure about the "less controversially" bit !
  • This is disgusting oft.

    Have you read on the `What's the big deal about marathons'? thread the post slagging off the idea that fast runners get an automatic place and athletics clubs get places? DUH!

    Don't mind the hospitality package as long as it doesn't include a starting place - at least it raises money for charity.

    I admire your integrity in turning down a place sold for 30 pieces of silver!
  • Never heard of that before !
  • What are the chances that they bought it off a charity?

    Charity gets guaranteed monies (at whatever rate) and company gets to build kudos with clients/suppliers.

    Don't have a problem with it, if it was charidee places that are being bought.
  • Can I have one? Can I? Me? Me? Me?
  • But if they're buying charity places (at £250) that it denying them to a charity who could generate at least £1500 in sponsorship from it.

    As for a company building kudos from it, to my mind it is an athletics event where places ought to be distributed to people keen enough to support the sport all year round, not sacrificed on the altar of capitalist greed.
  • But if they're buying charity places off a charity for £1500 when the charity only paid £250 then maybe it isn't so reprehensible?
  • I must agree with Barnsleyrunner - there's nothing wrong with automatic gfa, championship and athletic club places: after all it is supposed to be a race and those of us who support athletics year-in and year-out at cross country, road races and track meets are surely entitled to a 'bit of glory' at the FLM.
    Nothing wrong with charity places either and if the charieties feel they can make more money by 'selling on' then so be it. Most of the gripes, it seems, come from those rejected by the ballot - my sympathies go to serious runners who just aren't good enough to get an automatic place and can't face having to raise £100's for a charity place.
  • BR - needless to say, this made me a little depressed...

    A bit sceptical, I did probe at the time and was told they'd bought 4 places at a cost of £1200. Dimly, I did'nt ask if this was each or the total price ! The company are also not a sponsor of the FLM

    Presumably, if there are such things as "Corporate Places" there will be forumites who know more ? As said before, he may have been talking rubbish, in which case apols for creating a "trolled thread". Find this hard to believe though

    Interested to see if this is a one-off
  • Even if it was £1200 each then it's still less than could be raised for charity. £1500 is the minimum - many people raise more.
  • But I wonder how many Golden Bond places go to people who fail to raise the minimum sponsorship and/or don't run on the day and so don't get the £1500? As a charity you might find the lure of a guaranteed £1000 profit on your FLM places with the minimum of admin too hard to resist.
  • I suppose so Ross, but then the whole focus of the event would be switched from an athletics race to a mass fun run and fundraiser.

    I think the charities sift people quite carefully so they get reliable people.
  • Erm...isn't it already a mass fun run and fundraiser? (apart from the couple of dozen elite runners at the very front)
  • I too would be interested to hear forumites views. £1200 does seem a huge amount for FLM to sell the place but perhaps if it did involve corporate hospitality and other stuff it might be worth it.

    I know that corporates do have large teams in the marathon - Mark & Spencers had a big team running for Childline and also exhibited at the FLM Expo but I have no idea whether they paid £1200 a pop for a place - it just sounds very high.

    My Guide to entering the London Marathon
  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    My first place ever was from BT (my then employer) who had bought ten GB places. They were allocated on the basis that you would raise money for your own nominated charity. This way I managed to raise funds for a children's home that would never have had someone run for them.

    £1200 a place might be for 5 years, I know they used to be sold for a 5 year block because we had to persuade someone in BT to renew the GBs.
  • Ah - good point Womble, so they may just be charity places that the corporates actually pay for.
  • All sounds a bit tacky to me..

    I was offered a corporate place with no mention of having to raise funds

    Another need to get back to the days when FLM places were almost all allocated by ballot or ability ?

  • Have any serious club runners had problems raising charity monies for Golden Bond Places ?
    The reason I ask is that when potential sponsors find out that you are already a serious runner they seem less keen than they would be if you were a "tub of lard" who does no excercise at all.They want the person they sponsor to be undertaking something that will be a real challenge. They obviously do not realise that when you are fitter the marathon doesn't hurt any less , you just get a quicker time !

    I had GB place for The Miscarriage Association in 2001 and found it hard to raise the £1000 for the reasons above.
  • Maybe they reckon your main focus will be your training for a finishing time, not the fundraising.

    The best way is to get a qualifying time, then choose a charity and raise what you can.
  • I can confirm that London Marathon has not and does not sell "corporate entries".

    It is possible that a company may have entries from a charity which they sponsor but the only companies that have places from us are our sponsors.
  • Well, you certainly used to. My first London marathon was one of 10 places my company had bought.
  • (in 1994)
  • Someone mentioned the M&S/CHildline link?

    I ran with them in 2001 - I can confirm that M&S do not buy these places. Instead they guarantee to fill 40 golden bond places with staff members. Each employee then has to get at least 800 quid sponsorship and M&S doubles whatever you raise. Plus this year, M&S paid for all the Childline marathon kit - everyone's a winner!!
  • I think you'll find it's fairly common practice for companies to build relationships with favoured charities and guarantee to fill a number of places allocated to them.
    My company stumped up anything over the first £500 raised by the individulas who filled the allocated places on a first come first served basis.
    I jumped at the chance after buying T'shirts and fleeces for a number of years as an unlucky bobby prize in the 'ballot'
  • Nick

    Thanks for this pretty unambiguous explanation - and welcome to the forum !


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