Kent State Study: Start to Finish, 2013 ODDyssey Half Marathon Brought $1.7 Million to Philadelphia

Kent State College of Business Administration Professor finds ODDyssey Half Marathon a success for local Philadelphia economy
By: Kent State College of Business
KENT, Ohio - Oct. 28, 2013 - PRLog -- Oct. 24, 2013 - KENT, Ohio -- The ODDyssey Half Marathon is known for its participants’ “odd” costumes and optional fun activities that takes runners through Fairmount Park, with breathtaking views of Schuykill River. This year a total of 2,530 participants raced to Philadelphia to take part in and watch the half marathon, and best of all, the event has a substantial effect on the local economy.

Kent State’s College of Business Administration conducted a study on the economic impact of the half marathon, led by Shawn Rohlin, Ph.D., of the university’s Department of Economics.

The fourth annual marathon created a total economic impact of approximately $1.7 million, according to the Kent State study.

“I am very impressed with the results of the study,” said Carl Ewald, executive director of the event. “We are a local company and we love Philadelphia. We have worked very hard to become a leader in the running community but did not realize how impactful our project was on the community as a whole. To know that our event brings $1.7 million dollars into the local economy is extremely meaningful. I look forward to seeing that impact grow as we grow.”

The half marathon generated a direct spending increase of approximately $700,000 and an indirect spending total of about $1 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, then the waitress uses the $10 to buy lunch herself the next day, which goes back in to the local economy.

“A surprising finding from the report is how much out-of-town guests spent while watching and cheering their runners,” Rohlin said. “The report also highlights the importance of the race to local runners who said they would have spent money outside the Philadelphia area had the race not taken place.”

The boost in economic activity also generated the equivalent of 21 new full-time jobs. The study was conducted by collecting data through surveys distributed to participants and spectators after the event took place.

The project was completed with the help of two Kent State master’s students.

“When I heard Dr. Rohlin was going to hold a course specifically doing economic impact studies on various events, I couldn't resist,” said Molly McCarthy, economics graduate student and co-researcher for this study. “Having the ability to learn a process such as this and having those studies in my portfolio to show future employers is priceless.  Conducting economic impact studies is now a skill I am confident with, and it is really exciting and rewarding to see the effects on the local economy such as the ODDyssey Half Marathon.”

For more information about the ODDyssey Half Marathon visit,

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

Michelle Parrish
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