500 Festival and WTHR announce broadcast partnership

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The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization committed to enriching the quality of life for Indiana residents and visitors, and WTHR, Channel 13, have reached a programming deal, making WTHR the official television broadcaster of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the IPL 500 Festival Parade, and the Chase 500 Festival Kids' Day and Rookie Run. The three-year broadcast agreement is effective 2015 – 2017 and provides WTHR with the exclusive broadcast rights for the Indianapolis market. To celebrate the partnership, WTHR is offering viewers $10 off their OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon registration by using the promotional code, WTHR, when they register.

The partnership provides WTHR with the official broadcasting rights to four 500 Festival events: the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, to be held May 2, 2015; the Chase 500 Festival Kids' Day and Rookie Run, to be held May 9, 2015; and the IPL 500 Festival Parade, to be held May 23, 2015. WTHR will produce a pre-race show and live broadcast of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Finish Line 500 Festival 5K as well as a broadcast of the IPL 500 Festival Parade for the Indianapolis market. Specific programming and coverage details will be announced in the months ahead.

“Beyond reporting the news, we firmly believe that the long standing success of WTHR is a result of the dedication to the neighborhoods we serve,” said WTHR president and general manager, Larry Delia. “That's why today is a landmark day for us. Nothing amplifies the magic of May and represents our community better than the IPL 500 Festival Parade and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. After 25 years, we're honored to begin a new tradition of broadcast excellence surrounding these events. Naturally, we're proud to support the 500 Festival and the impact this not-for-profit community organization makes.”

“We are excited to partner with WTHR to televise these iconic 500 Festival events,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “WTHR has demonstrated their ability to deliver first class coverage of large-scale events like ours, while maintaining a meaningful commitment to our community. We're confident this partnership will further highlight the impact our events have upon Central Indiana.”

To kick off the partnership, WTHR viewers can save $10 on their Mini-Marathon registration by using the code WTHR when they register online. To use the code, complete the online registration found here. Enter the code WTHR in the “Got a Discount Code?” field and the $10 discount will be applied. One code per registrant. This code may not be combined with any other discount codes for Mini-Marathon registrations. This discount is only valid for Mini-Marathon registrations and it is not applicable for any other 500 Festival events.

Each year, more than half a million people participate in 500 Festival events and programs. Now in its 39th year, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is the nation's largest half-marathon. As the 500 Festival's largest fundraiser and a vital part of the city's civic fabric, proceeds from the race help fund the 500 Festival's free program and events. The 13.1-mile course stretches from downtown Indianapolis to the famed 2.5 mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ends downtown in Military Park.

One of the original 500 Festival events, the IPL 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation's premier parades. Larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities, costumed characters, marching bands, patriotic units and specialty units will fill the streets of downtown Indianapolis, celebrating the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500. The tradition continues with the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500 serving as honorary grand marshals.

The 500 Festival brings its community celebration of the Indianapolis 500 to Indiana families for the annual Chase 500 Festival Kids' Day on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. With an estimated attendance of 40,000 annually, Kids' Day is the state's largest outdoor free festival for children. Kids' Day offers fun, interactive, educational displays in a carnival-like atmosphere. From arts and crafts to science, safety and games, this outdoor festival, offers entertainment for all ages. The Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run gives kids ages 3 - 10 an opportunity to participate in their own version of the Mini, with race distances depending upon their age.

To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit: www.500festival.com.

About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $350 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.

About WTHR-TV

WTHR-TV is a member of The Dispatch Broadcast Group, which includes WBNS-TV, WBNS-AM/FM in Columbus, OH. Top stories, breaking news and live-stream telecasts of WTHR-TV can be seen at www.wthr.com. Connect with WTHR-TV on Twitter @WTHRcom and on Facebook.