Photo Video
A supporter cheers on runners in the rain during the 2010 Pig. Flying Pig Marathon
Hide Caption

Flying Pig Marathon means big business for Greater Cincinnati

a a a a
Share this story

CINCINNATI - Approximately 33,000 runners are expected to participate in races associated with the 2013 Flying Pig Marathon weekend.

But local businesses are hoping they'll being doing a lot more than running Saturday and Sunday.

Estimates suggest that the race weekend could generate nearly $10 million for hotels, eateries, stores and local businesses in Greater Cincinnati.

Some businesses like Brand Evolution in Northside are banking specifically on the success of the Flying Pig Marathon brand.

"It's great. We absolutely love it," said Trey Walker with Brand Evolution. "We look forward to this weekend and obviously many years to follow."

The firm, which has participated in each of the previous 15 Flying Pig Marathons, is creating specialty race shirts for the event.

"Leading up to this is a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun," said Walker, who along with his co-workers was busy cranking out t-shirts Wednesday evening. "Everybody here is completely committed to the event."

The firm handles all participant clothing and merchandise sales for the Flying Pig.

The marathon is Brand Evolution's biggest client and accounts for between 25 to 35 percent of its gross revenue, according to Walker.

Brand Evolution is just one of the businesses that has benefited from the success of the event over the past 15 years. The Flying Pig has been a major contributor to the Greater Cincinnati economy.

Doug Olberding says the impact of the race is about $9.5 million, most of which comes from non-local runners.  

Olberding, who chairs the Department of Sports Studies at Xavier University, said the biggest spending is on hotel rooms for out-of-towners.

Restaurants will also benefit from the marathon. While many restaurants look to make money on their alcohol sales, the Flying Pig weekend is typically an exception to that rule.

"Runners aren't going out on Saturday night before a 26-mile race and drinking heavily," Olberding said. "So, a typical convention, you see a bit more bar spending, but overall it's restaurants and lodging."

The Tri-State could also see indirect economic benefits. Since runners from all 50 states and 16 countries will participate in the race, the Flying Pig will give Cincinnati a chance to shine in front of the world.

"They report that the downtown is clean, it's vibrant, it's exciting, there's a lot to do, the neighborhoods are beautiful. So, there are these non-economic benefits," Olberding said. "They're a little bit more difficult to measure, but they're very, very real."

--9 On Your Side reporter Tom Mckee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Flying Pig
Man pleads guilty to bringing gun to Flying Pig
Man pleads guilty to bringing gun to Flying Pig

A man pleaded guilty to stalking a Flying Pig official and carrying a concealed weapon during this year's marathon.

Runners partner jobs, Pig training
Runners partner jobs, Pig training

How do Tri-State runners train to win and work to live?

Bond set in Flying Pig gun incident
Bond set in Flying Pig gun incident

A man accused of stalking the executive director of the Flying Pig and bringing a gun to the race has been indicted.

Officials: Man brought gun to Flying Pig
Officials: Man brought gun to Flying Pig

A man has been accused of stalking a Flying Pig official and carrying a concealed weapon during this past Sunday's marathon.

Winners of the Flying Pig Marathon
Winners of the Flying Pig Marathon

The Flying Pig Marathon kicked off in the early hours Sunday with more than 30,000 runners participating in the events.

Flying Pig Marathon safe and secure
Flying Pig Marathon safe and secure

Organizers credit pre-planning for a safe, secure and successful Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday.

PHOTOS: Flying Pig Marathon 2013
PHOTOS: Flying Pig Marathon 2013

Cincinnati's annual Flying Pig Marathon kicks off Sunday, May 5!

Security precautions at the Flying Pig
Security precautions at the Flying Pig

The Flying Pig Marathon took place in Cincinnati Sunday.

Man proposes at the Flying Pig Marathon
Man proposes at the Flying Pig Marathon

Applause echoed in the race recovery area as Joe Schmithorst got on his knee and pulled out a small white box with a diamond ring inside,…

Flying Pig 5K, 10K top runners announced
Flying Pig 5K, 10K top runners announced

A runner from Kenya preparing to compete in his first United States marathon at the Flying Pig on Sunday took first place in the Toyota 10K…