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The BRICS Marathon League is an ambitious project that unites the starts of different countries. The ideological inspirers and leaders of the marathons included in the ecosystem told the editorial board of the “Molecule” about its mission, strategic plans and business goals.

The BRICS Marathon League is a project that unites the largest marathons in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan), and in the near future – also the starts of the BRICS countries. The project is aimed at developing amateur and professional sports, improving the quality of mass races both in Russia and in the BRICS countries, involving various categories of citizens in a healthy lifestyle, as well as sharing cultural and tourist experiences.

To form, maintain and develop a high level of mass athletics competitions in the Russian Federation
To develop and popularize amateur mass sports, to increase its attractiveness for people of all ages and levels of training
To develop the tourist flow in Russia and cultural exchange between Russia and the BRICS countries
To develop professional sports and stimulate performance growth
Strengthen ties between countries and communities

Anatoly Zubko
Director of the ANO CPSM “Moscow Marathon”
Over the past few years, the situation in the country and in the world has changed dramatically, affecting, of course, the sports and, in particular, the running industry.
On June 17, 2016, the IAAF Council, based on the recommendations of WADA, upheld its decision to disqualify the VFL, which deprived Russian marathons of the opportunity to receive any level of the IAAF label and invite elite athletes, as they could face disqualification in their federation.
Since 2022, we have seen an even more drastic turnaround – Russian banks have been disconnected from the SWIFT system; many foreign brands, including sports brands, have left our market; the functionality of sports applications (for example, NRC) has been limited.
All this has greatly changed the market: Asian brands, including manufacturers of sports equipment, have flooded in. This gave an incentive for the development of Russian companies as well. In addition, due to the shutdown of SWIFT in Russia, the SPFS (Financial Message Transmission System of the Bank of Russia) was developed, at the moment it is the only financial system available to banks in the CIS and EAEU countries that operates in the SWIFT format. Today, there is a desire to integrate the Eurasian analogue of SWIFT with the BRICS countries as well. This issue will be discussed in detail at the BRICS+ summit in Kazan in autumn.
Of course, we are now looking for new markets and new opportunities. All of the above will undoubtedly help make life easier for runners traveling in completely new directions, and the number of countries participating in the union will only grow.
New directions will open up. Against the background of strengthening economic and humanitarian ties, the unification of marathons should also take place harmoniously. The exchange of experience will give a new round of trade development in the field of sports and healthy lifestyle, and will also become an incentive for the development of Russian races and athletics in the country.
Thanks to the merger, more new brands and companies are likely to come to us, and, conversely, domestic ones will enter the international market.
Of course, we will be glad to see the marathons of the UAE, Egypt, Iran and other countries in the League. Unfortunately, the Iranian-Israeli situation is extremely unstable right now, but we hope for a peaceful solution to this issue.
Moreover, by the forces of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation, the sherpas of the BRICS countries were notified about the launch of the BRICS Marathon League by Russia.
Both from our side and from the side of the above-mentioned states, we will have to go a long way to unite marathons within the framework of the League, but the beginning has already been made. We hope that in 2025-2026 we will be able to please the running world with good news.

Dmitry Tarasov
Director of the Moscow Marathon and the White Nights Marathon

It is always easier to move forward in the union, improve the quality of competitions and, through the exchange of experience, bring events to a higher level both from the point of view of organization and from the point of view of interaction with the audience.
Combining marathons into a single series within the country, and in the future in the BRICS countries, will entail the development of the tourism industry and sports and event tourism, which is now carried away by about 10 million people in the world. Given the number of people living in the BRICS countries, we have very great prospects for the exchange of tourist flows and cultural values. And this, in turn, will increase the number of participants in the League’s marathons and will allow even more people to be involved in a healthy lifestyle, including in Russia.
The creation of the League is a serious incentive for the development of athletics in the country. Firstly, professional athletes take part in the race, and we want Russian athletes to take advantage of the opportunity to compete with foreign colleagues to improve their own results in competition.
Secondly, the creation of the League is an excellent opportunity to increase the number of participants in the races, including through the implementation of a motivational program for different categories of participants. This, in turn, will lead to improved results among amateurs, because the League’s motivational program is designed not only for professionals. It is planned to award in age categories. It will also increase the interest from the audience.
Thirdly, the League will be an excellent platform for the development of student sports and athletics. We want to use the marathon site for the possibility of holding competitions among students of the BRICS countries.
The BRICS Marathon League will also allow the development of a pool of partners from these countries, because many companies are interested in integrating into other markets, and the League will be able to become a platform that will create all the necessary conditions for this. After all, any marathon is not only a sporting event. Sports exhibitions are also held within the framework of the races, where partners can hold presentations of their brands and convey the necessary information to both b2b and b2c audiences. In my opinion, given the size of the market that exists within the BRICS union, this is a great opportunity for partner companies to make themselves known.

Vladimir Voloshin
Sports entrepreneur, co-founder of Moyfitness.RF, IRONSTAR and ROSA RUN
The BRICS Marathon League is a project that unites the organizers of key marathons and stakeholders. What can the project offer to foreign investors? Firstly, investors can come here for marketing purposes. For example, an advertisement for an investment fund operating in the territories of the BRICS League members.
Secondly, they can invest in technologies related to media, broadcasting products and mobile technologies. For example, in the application of the BRICS Marathon League, an information channel where broadcasts, interaction with the audience, etc. take place. And it is certainly an investment-attractive product.
As for the goals of attracting foreign participants, they differ depending on the segments.

  1. Amateur runners
    Amateurs are of interest from the point of view of the new economy of sports and event tourism. Thanks to the League and the built-in motivation system, participants can go, for example, to Cape Town, run a marathon included in the League, and receive a special award at the end of the series.
    At the same time, many Russian running enthusiasts do not know which marathons of the BRICS countries are the same exemplary ones. Thanks to our project, people will learn about the availability of launches, which are the hallmarks of the BRICS member countries, and plan their participation in them.
    Conversely, we expect that thanks to the unification of marathons in the BRICS League, participants from other countries involved in the motivation system will come to us.
    Thus, our goal is to introduce a wide audience to the culture, countries and cities that will be included in the BRICS marathon series through running.
  2. Professional athletes
    Today, the entire running world operates according to the same model, when athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, etc. must be present at the start. The BRICS Marathon League will allow changing this system and forming the composition of elite athletes from athletes from China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, etc. in a completely different way.
    From the point of view of motivation, of course, according to the generally accepted world model, there will be a high prize fund, including a guaranteed national fund.
  1. Volunteers
    We also hope that in the future we will have our own volunteer program, within which volunteers studying the languages of the BRICS countries will be able to help at the League’s participating starts, thereby gaining a unique experience.Operational teams
    Organizers from the BRICS countries will be able to come to our marathons and learn from the experience of Russian organizing committees within the framework of the Race Director Program (the Moscow Marathon already has an analogue) and vice versa, the management of Russian races will be able to adopt the experience and best practices of foreign colleagues and subsequently use them in their work.
  2. Partner companies
    We see how the BRICS countries are converging today, including in terms of the economy, commodity flows, etc. And marathons are always a good platform for integrating advertising, presenting products, services and services. And there are many directions here, because we are planning the development of the EXPO. In addition, we see the potential for the development of not only sports-related companies, but also cultural and scientific fields. For example, medical services may be interested in opening new markets through connection with marathons.
    The BRICS Marathon League is a single window that gives access to a very high–quality paying audience, mainly with incomes from the middle and above average, who chooses an active lifestyle and travels. The audience is usually family, which is also a big plus. And not only on the territory of the Russian Federation, but also abroad.
    Now the three largest marathons in the country (Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan) reach the mark of more than 100 thousand people only in terms of participants, and together with the audience of fans and spectators, this is a multiple of more. It will be beneficial for investors, partners and sponsors to work with the League on a one-stop-shop basis.

League Goals
 Unite more than 1,000,000 Russian runners
To provide at least 100,000 participants in the Russian Marathon League
 Combine 10 marathons in the BRICS countries
 Multiply the number of finishers in the WMM series (more than 11,000 people at the moment)

If we talk about such a metric as LTV, then I think that within the League this indicator should be at least 50% due to unification. It can be assumed that the LTV of individual players is in the range of 30-40% today, so thanks to the merger it will grow.