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ING extends title sponsor deal with NYC Marathon

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ING has extended its deal to serve as the title sponsor of the New York City Marathon.

The contract was extended three years through 2013. The original deal, signed in 2003, had been renewed twice.

The European financial services giant said Monday it would split in two, spinning off its insurance arm to simplify its business and issuing new shares to repay bailout money in the Netherlands. The dramatic change in strategy capped a year of cutting costs and selling operations since the financial crisis struck, when ING was kept afloat only with two major rounds of assistance from the Dutch state.

Race director Mary Wittenberg said the event proved its value by still drawing a large number of international and out-of-town runners willing to spend the money to travel to New York in spite of the crisis. The race attracted more than 100,000 applicants for the second straight year. As in recent years, about half the field is from abroad; among Americans, about half are from outside the region.

"It was striking how people still applied and people from around the world still want to run," she said Tuesday.

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