There's nothing like getting to know your brokers outside the office. Especially if "outside" means the temperate coastal environs of Carlsbad, Calif., and especially within the context of one of California's premier road races, the Carlsbad 5000.
State Street Research & Management Co., Boston, which is one of the country's oldest mutual fund companies and has a strong East Coast presence, decided to use lead sponsorship of the foot race to raise awareness on the West Coast about its fund family.
But State Street Research decided to do more than just put its logo on the race programs and promos, said spokeswoman Robyn Tice: It also is paying the $23 entry fee for brokers who distribute its funds, as well as for brokers' families. Children run for $12 in the 11th annual Junior Carlsbad.
All the kids who finish will receive gold medals, but their broker parents face stiffer competition. All eyes are on the Carlsbad 5000 Invitational, where nine world records have been set, but there will be other races. Along with several contests for different age groups is an invitational 5K event and a wheelchair invitational. In all, more than 15,000 runners and 50,000 spectators are expected at the event, which will be covered by ESPN.
2000 is the Carlsbad's 15th anniversary, so every 15-year-old participant will run for free, and a prize will be given to the 15th-place finisher in every race. State Street Research, however, hopes its sponsorship will place its fund family a little higher in the minds of brokers, no matter where they finish on race day.