Spring in New England can be very unpredictable but despite the minute to minute changes in weather patterns, there is one constant – the Boston Marathon. Rain, shine, or snow, the Boston Marathon, managed by the Boston Athletic Association, has been run every Patriot’s Day since 1897. For the 9th consecutive year, the AMI Graphics Events Team spent the week on-site in Boston preparing and installing event signage for the world’s most prestigious and inspiring marathon. Check out a full highlight video here.
On Thursday prior to the marathon, installations begin with the cloth banners to brand the iconic photo bridge. This year saw the introduction of a custom aluminum frame system built by AMI that allowed the scaffolding to be tightly covered with printed cloth for a clean and polished look. Cloth banner sponsor signage on a similar frame system was then installed over the solid blue banners to help them stand out.
Event mesh banners were also installed on the railings and backs of the spectator bleachers along Boylston Street leading up to the finish line as well as vinyl banners along the fronts of the bleachers showing off the Boston Marathon and various sponsor logos.
On the Saturday before the marathon, the Boston Athletic Association puts on a popular 5K race starting and finishing at Boston Common. Event signage for this race includes: event mesh banner to brand metal crowd control barriers, truss signage for the start/finish line, sponsor signage, and operational race signage throughout Boston Common such as wayfinding signage, registration signage, maps, and more.
On Marathon Monday, the start line in Hopkinton also hosts the Athletes’ Village where thousands of runners congregate to wait for the start of their wave. Due to their height and high visibility, feather flags are used for event branding to attract runners’ attention to certain areas and to add to the festive atmosphere.
Vinyl banners are used in conjunction with a metal conduit system to clearly and easily mark and brand standard white rental tents.
A branded vinyl banner was used to cover the scaffolding of the starter’s platform.
Surrounding the actual start line, event mesh banners line crowd control fencing in the runner corrals, while custom towers with dimensional signage mark official line and sponsor signage follows the chute for the runners’ lead up to the start line and first hundred feet of the race.
The Boston Marathon course is famous for traversing through eight towns stretching from Hopkinton to Boston, and it’s a major accomplishment on each runner’s checklist every time they cross into a new town. To mark each crossing, Adidas, a key sponsor to the race, sponsors wind flags at every town line to let runners know that another milestone has been met. Wind flags provide height and visibility for the runners to see as they approach while being able to stand up to almost any weather condition that April in New England can deliver.
New to the on-course signage this year was a larger than life street graphic with the Boston Athletic Association unicorn marking one mile left to go in the race. This area was also sponsored by Citgo as mile 25 of the Boston Marathon falls at the iconic Boston Citgo sign. This area also featured Citgo-sponsored feather flags.
Also new this year was a sponsor activation for Abbott World Marathon Majors on the cement barricades coming out from the Mass Ave bridge, which is one of the last milestones before the final turns of the marathon. This sponsor signage featured the Abbott World Marathon Majors logos alternating with the Boston Marathon and John Hancock logos.
Complementing the photo bridge branding installed on Thursday at the finish line, cloth banners were also used in an aluminum channel frame system constructed for the 2016 Boston Marathon that creates a chute of sponsor and branding signage leading into the finish line. This provides prime visibility for the Boston Marathon brand and its token sponsor, John Hancock, while also dressing up unsightly crowd control barriers.
The custom podium, representing the olive branch wreath worn by the winners, that was introduced for the 2016 Boston Marathon was back again this year creating an eye-catching focal point to the finish line, in addition to the photo bridge, along with dimensional signage featuring the full Boston Marathon logo and a media backdrop for photo and interview opportunities.
While the elite runners are racing, a viewing party is held at the Westin Copley Place for their family and friends. Signage was installed for the party to help bring the atmosphere of the race inside. Branded signage included wall murals and custom dimensional signage.
We are as honored this year as we are every year to provide the road race signage for such a prestigious event and look forward to many more years of successful events with the Boston Athletic Association.