FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOHN HANCOCK FINANCIAL SERVICES INCREASES PRIZE MONEY
FOR BOSTON MARATHON WINNERS
Men's and Women's Open Winners to Receive $100,000
Total Prize Awards Climb to $575,000
BOSTON, MA - February 15, 2005 - John Hancock Financial Services today
announced that it would increase its prize money commitment for the Boston
Marathon. Beginning this year, the men's and women's open division
champions will each receive $100,000 in prize money. Previously John
Hancock gave $80,000 to the open winners. In addition, wheelchair champions
will now receive $15,000 each compared to $10,000 in the past. As principal
sponsor, John Hancock will provide a guaranteed prize purse of $575,000,
plus other performance bonuses for setting American and World records. The
race will be held on Monday, April 18, 2005.
"The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the
most prestigious road racing events in the world," James M. Benson,
President and CEO, John Hancock Life Insurance Company said. "By increasing
the prize money we are helping to ensure that this quality race will
continue to feature a diverse and world-renowned field of athletes from
across the globe. Our financial support and services also continue to
extend to the communities along the marathon route."
John Hancock, which provided the first-ever prize money for the race in
1986, is celebrating the 20th year of its landmark sponsorship. The Company
also contributes a wide range of financial support, volunteers and services
to the eight cities and towns along the marathon route in appreciation for
past and continued support of the race. In addition, on race day, John
Hancock offers the use of several of its facilities in Copley Square, the
services of 1,900 employee volunteers to assist with race-related tasks,
and a giant television screen near the finish line for the public to view
"We are extremely pleased that John Hancock has announced they will
increase the prize money for the 2005 Boston Marathon," said Guy Morse,
Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association. "Since John Hancock became
principal sponsor 20 years ago, the marathon has maintained its world class
status and ensured that the top runners compete in the oldest annual race."
To inspire future runners, John Hancock has established the John Hancock
Running and Fitness Clinics, a national educational program that brings top
athletes including Catherine Ndereba and Bill Rodgers into area schools to
demonstrate running techniques, training methods, and healthy lifestyles.
To date thousands of students have attended the clinics.
Find the latest news and information about the Boston Marathon at
About John Hancock and Manulife Financial
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading
Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19
countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in
Canada and most of Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United
States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection
products and wealth management services through its extensive network of
employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by
Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$348 billion (US$289
billion) as at December 31, 2004. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as
'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife
Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of
the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a
broad range of financial products and services, including whole life, term
life, variable life, and universal life insurance, as well as college
savings products, fixed and variable annuities, long-term care insurance,
mutual funds and various forms of business insurance.