John Hancock Financial Announces Launch of Twitter Site Twitter.Com/Jhfs_Boston26 to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Boston Marathon Sponsorship

Jan 26, 2010, 10:00 ET from John Hancock Financial Services

BOSTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In celebration of its 25th anniversary as the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today launched a Twitter site that will provide tweets about the 114th running of the race and related activities to race followers and marathon enthusiasts.

Content for the site will include tweets on John Hancock's partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, the John Hancock Elite Athlete Program, its Non-profit Bib Program, Employee Running and Fundraising Program, Marathon community initiatives, and additional Boston Marathon sponsorship news and information. It also will include tweets about the marathoning world and its top runners, including those who will be participating in this year's race.

Followers are invited to access tweets at

"With our new Twitter site, we will be able to provide ongoing information about the race and John Hancock's 25-year sponsorship to everyone who loves the Boston Marathon and loves to run," said Rob Friedman, head of Sports Marketing at John Hancock. "We intend to provide tweets on everything from updates on our elite field of athletes to updates on our amateur runners giving the course at Boston a first try. We hope followers will find the information useful, informative and entertaining. We hope the twitterverse will share our enthusiasm for the world's oldest annual, and, we think, greatest marathon."

John Hancock began its landmark sponsorship in 1986 and over the past 25 years has provided substantial financial support to ensure the ongoing success of the race. Each year, John Hancock has recruited and sponsored a world class, elite athlete field for the race and has provided $13 million in prize and bonus awards.  

The Company continues that tradition for this year's race on April 19th offering a prize purse of $806,000, plus $220,000 for performance bonuses.  

Employees of Hancock volunteer to help with marathon-related tasks and also participate in the race to raise money for local charities.  Together with Hancock's Non-profit Bib entrants, $3.7 million was donated last year. Manulife employees who ran the Marathon also raised money for their designated charities. This fundraising and volunteer effort was part of Hancock's $10.6 million and 10,000 volunteer hours of total support given to Boston area non-profit and community service programs in 2009.

Additionally, during race week Hancock provides resources for the Boston Marathon Kenya Project and the Adopt-a-Marathoner program, provides a wide range of financial support and services to the towns and cities along the Marathon route, and sponsors the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo that draws 200 exhibitors and 80,000 visitors.

Hancock also assists thousands of local, national and international media representatives who arrive in Boston to cover the race, produces media materials, and provides the use of several facilities to media outlets.  

The direct and indirect economic value to the community of the Boston Marathon weekend has been calculated to be nearly $110 million per year, according to Greater Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau.

"John Hancock is proud that their financial commitment and partnership with the Boston Athletic Association helps the City to continue to host one of the world's premier marathons," Mr. Friedman said.

About John Hancock and Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 22 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and 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$436.5 billion (US$407.1 billion) as at September 30, 2009. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

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 life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

SOURCE John Hancock Financial Services