Eugene Marathon 2019

Over the years, distance running events have become large productions, rife with opportunities for involvement, sponsorship, and marketing. From pre and post activities to event signage and decor, it all comes together when runners make that final leap to cross the finish line.

Here in Eugene, Oregon, where Stretch Shapes is headquartered, there is a rich history of runners and events that have given our city the nickname, “Track Town USA.” The Eugene Marathon is a signature event in the world of long distance running, attracting runners from across the globe to follow in the footsteps of athletes like Steve Prefontaine and the University of Oregon’s Track Team. 

In its 13th year, runners came from all 50 states as well as dozens of countries, with thousands running to qualify for the Boston Marathon later in the year. In between locations while the new Hayward Field is under construction, this year’s marathon took place on a new course, finishing at the 50 yard line in the iconic Autzen Stadium at the University of Oregon. 

As an official sponsor and signage provider, Stretch Shapes has been working with Eugene Marathon to create more sustainable event signage for the past two years. For the 2018 Eugene Marathon, their finish line was upgraded to create an option that could be reused and easily customized year after year. 

Previously, they had used vinyl banners attached to a “goalpost” style truss assembly. The banners were unsightly and left a lot of the truss exposed, leaving runners with an unfinished look as they burst through the finish line that they’ve been training so hard to cross.

When Eugene Marathon reached out to Stretch Shapes last year, our team collaborated with the company supplying the finish line truss structure. The resulting design was a clean, stretch fabric truss cover system, covering the entire structure in 360° of custom printed fabric. 

Stretch Shapes designed the system to have three separate panels so that when installed it gave the appearance of one finished cover, but when taken apart it allowed the marathon organization to reuse the side panels every year, while only having to change out the center panel as sponsorships change.

The ability to limit reprinting to a single panel also helped with cost, allowing the organization to continue expanding their collection of signage – this year, that meant adding two new printed Flat Panel Sails. Using our dye sublimation printing process, the Eugene Marathon logo was printed against a gradient backdrop, creating another branded piece that could be reused any time it’s needed. 

Because of the ease of installation and familiarity with the products, Stretch Shapes needed only 1 person to complete the set up in under 2 hours, making each year faster, easier, and better looking than the year before.

“Our experience with Stretch Shapes was fantastic from start to finish. They were quick to answer questions during the design process and gave us advice along the way that helped ensure that the end product looked great. I was especially impressed with how accommodating the Stretch Shapes team was during installation. Our event required an inconvenient installation time, but their whole team showed up exactly when we needed them and they got the job done perfectly. I would recommend working with Stretch Shapes to anyone and I know we’ll be coming back to them in the future!” — Ian Dobson, Eugene Marathon