College of Business Administration conducts study on the economic impact of the Madison Mini-Marathon

MADISON, Wis. - Runner's World magazine ranked the BMO Harris Bank Madison Mini-Marathon & 5K the 14th best half-marathon in the nation. The event is owned and produced by Vision Event Management. This half-marathon is popular with runners across the country, attracting nearly 6,000 participants in 2013, and the event's impact on the local economy had previously been unassessed.

Kent State's College of Business Administration conducted a study on the economic impact of the Madison Mini-Marathon, led by Shawn Rohlin, Ph.D., of the university's Department of Economics.

The Madison Mini-Marathon created a total economic impact of approximately $5.4 million, according to the Kent State study.

"Our goal with the BMO Harris Madison Mini-Marathon & 5K is to produce a great running event that has a positive long lasting impact on our participants, volunteers, partners and community," said Jeff Graves, president of Vision Event Management. "The results of this economic impact report is just one example on how the Madison Mini-Marathon is fulfilling our goal."

"One of the reasons we are strong supporters of community programming is the tremendous local impact those initiatives can have," said Doug Nelson, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank "It's very clear that the Mini-Marathon is paying dividends that have far greater benefits than most would realize and that further bolsters Madison as a leading Midwest city."

The marathon generated a direct spending increase of approximately $2 million and an indirect spending total of about $3.4 million, according to the Kent State study.

Rohlin said indirect spending is additional money spent by other people who didn't participate in the race. For example, a waitress gets a $10 tip from a runner or spectator and then the waitress uses the $10 to buy lunch herself the next day, which goes back in to the local economy.

"The economic impact of the Madison Mini-Marathon was considerable with a large share of the effect coming from out-of-town participants," Rohlin said. "These out-of-town runners contributed over $4 million including their direct and indirect effects. Combining out-of-town guests who came to support local runners with spending by locals that kept money in the local economy the race had a strong positive effect locally, both for Madison residents and increased Madison employment."

The boost in economic activity also generated the equivalent of 109.5 new full-time jobs. The study was conducted by collecting data through surveys distributed to participants and spectators after the event took place.

The Madison Mini's 2013 contributions to it's Official Charity, the University of Wisconsin Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 'Healthy Women, Healthy Babies' Fund totaled $20,000. The Mini has benefited the Department since the inaugural year.

For more information about the Madison Mini-Marathon, visit:

For more information about Kent State's College of Business Administration, including its Department of Economics, visit


POSTED: Sunday, March 2, 2014 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - 8:33am