PORTLAND — A Portland agency will become the first to market the world’s oldest marathon under a three-year deal announced Tuesday.

Shamrock Sports & Entertainment, founded by Old Orchard Beach native and running enthusiast Brian Corcoran, will provide strategic marketing advice and sponsorship development for the Boston Athletic Association, longtime organizer of the Boston Marathon.

“Shamrock’s role is to identify and bring the right kind of partners to our table,” said BAA spokesman Jack Fleming.

The BAA, celebrating its 125-year anniversary, also puts on races of 5 and 10 kilometers and a half-marathon and wants to find a sponsor for the three-race series. Together, they make up a distance medley that awards $100,000 each to the overall male and female champions.

“We knew that with an increased event schedule and more programming we wanted these worthwhile events and programs to have reach,” said Fleming. The BAA also puts on charity events, clinics and children’s programs, and hopes to expand these activities and find sponsors.

Enter Shamrock. Corcoran said that besides seeking new sponsors, the BAA is looking for help promoting a healthy, active lifestyle in new and existing events.

Corcoran finished the Boston Marathon in 2001 and 2009, but he won’t be competing in next month’s 116th running of the 26.2-mile footrace from Hopkinton to Copley Square. Instead, he’ll be hosting prospective sponsors.

“I aspired to run in such a prestigious event as a kid growing up in Old Orchard,” Corcoran said Tuesday, “and now I’m really blessed to be on the business end of helping the Boston Marathon reach new heights of marketing and sponsorship.”

After high school graduation, Corcoran continued his running career at Eastern Kentucky University and found sports marketing work in Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston before returning to Maine in 2010 to launch his own firm.

Shamrock, which started with five employees, recently hired its 10th and expects to generate more than $1 million in revenue in 2012.

Neither Corcoran nor Fleming disclosed financial terms, but Corcoran said his agency will receive a retainer as well as performance commissions.

The BAA is a nonprofit organization that, according to its most recent tax return filed last May, reported $10.6 million in revenue and $8.8 million in expenses for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

Fleming said the BAA had handled marketing internally but wanted to concentrate on putting on events. The association began looking at a handful of firms in December and vetted them thoroughly before deciding on Shamrock.

“They offered what we thought was a good match with who we are,” he said. “We’d rather do things the right way rather than have a sale for the sake of a sale.”

Among the first orders of business for Shamrock is to help make BAA events more environmentally sustainable.

“We’re in the early works of developing an environmental education program that really connects kids and communities and an active lifestyle,” Corcoran said.

Other Shamrock clients include SeaWorld, Professional Bull Riders, American Bass Anglers and Richard Childress Racing, a NASCAR owner.

Both Corcoran and Fleming stressed the long-term nature of their relationship.

“Pun intended,” Corcoran said, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint. They’ve done a great job in their 125 years … but I think there’s still some under-cultivated territory.”


Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: [email protected]