ING U.S. Inc., the insurer that had an initial public offering in May, will stop sponsoring the New York City Marathon after 2013 as it moves away from Dutch owner ING Groep NV.
The firm reviewed its sponsorship strategy as it will start re-branding to Voya Financial Inc. in 2014, Raymond Vermeulen, a spokesman for Amsterdam-based ING Groep, said by telephone today. New York-based ING U.S. will focus on supporting financial literacy and has decided to end distance-running sponsorships, including races in Miami and Hartford, he said.
ING has sponsored the New York City Marathon since 2003. About 48,000 people will run in New York on Nov. 3, the race organizer New York Road Runners said in a statement on May 29, making it the year’s biggest marathon. Last year’s event was canceled after Hurricane Sandy amid concern it would drain recovery resources and offend those affected by the storm. Vermeulen declined to comment on the cost of the sponsorship.
The company sold a 25 percent stake in its U.S. insurer in May, raising about $1.27 billion as it divests assets to meet with European Union conditions imposed after the firm received state aid in 2008 and 2009. ING Groep’s stake in the U.S. insurer dropped to 71 percent after it sold additional shares to the underwriters of the IPO. The stock, sold at $19.50 a piece, closed at $30.40 in New York trading yesterday.
ING’s marathon plans were reported on Tuesday by the SportsBusiness Journal.