MONOPOLY has launched a new board game with a theme based on the Comrades Marathon. This coincides with the ultramarathon’s centenary anniversary.
Leon Swanepoel, the chief executive officer of Sportsvendo, a sport marketing and event management company, said he had a working relationship with the Comrades Marathon Association. He said the project was conceptualised by the Comrades Marathon centurion Monopoly board.
“I had to meet up with the Monopoly owners in London two years ago, and started the negotiation process to get the rights to be able to produce the Comrades Marathon Monopoly,” said Swanepoel, of Pretoria.
He said he had a collection of Monopoly boards with different themes and that he was inspired to create his own board.
“I thought this would be a great theme because there are many different themes that Monopoly uses in their games and as a Comrades runner, you get to see all the different landmarks, which are similar to properties on the Monopoly board.
"So I thought the Comrades Marathon would make an ideal Monopoly board because of the landmarks - as a person can play the game by buying these landmarks on the Comrades route."
Swanepoel said the board’s theme was designed as a down run, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, and that there would be a special twist at the end of the game.
“We dedicated the last properties to the record holders, so the most expensive property is David Radebe, who holds the record for the down run, Frith van der Merwe, who is the female record holder, and Bruce Fordyce, as well as the two international fastest Comrades runners,.”
Cheryl Winn, the chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association, said she ran the Comrades Marathon in 1992 and was excited about the concept of the Comrades Monopoly theme.
“I grew up playing Monopoly with my family and it’s such a timeless brand that it is instantly recognisable. I thought it was a great idea for the two brands to unite as it adds a new dimension to the game. I was so honoured to be approached,” she said.
Sathee Moodley, 77, a member of the Chatsworth Athletics Club, who completed two Comrades Marathons, said: "As a runner, I am excited about the idea of the game and am looking forward to playing it with my family and friends."
Prem Ramraj, 56, a member of the Woodview Athletics Club in Phoenix, who completed 22 Comrades Marathons, said: “I was brought up on board games and it will be interesting to see this new board.”
The Comrade Marathon Monopoly can be pre-ordered but there will be a limited number of boards available. The boards will arrive at the end of the month. For information, log on to https://marathonmonopoly.com/, the Comrades Marathon website or on the Sportsvendo website.