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After purchase by GameFace, MarathonFoto announces Bruce Franke returns

MarathonFoto, the world’s largest publisher of amateur endurance sports photos, announced Bruce Franke has rejoined the company as a Senior Advisor. Franke has spent more than 30 years in the event photography industry with MarathonFoto and its predecessor companies; he formerly served as the president of MarathonFoto before departing two years ago to pursue other initiatives in the endurance industry, according to a press release.

“We are very excited to have Bruce back on our team,” said Brad Kroll, Senior Vice President of MarathonFoto. “His passion for our industry is just as strong today as it was more than 20 years ago when we first began working together. Now that we are an independent company once again, Bruce will help ensure that we stay at the forefront of innovation and customer engagement.”

MarathonFoto had operated as a division of Iconic Group until November 2019 when it was spun out and merged its operations with Gameface Media Inc. The combined company provides more than 15 million digital images to athletes every year and more than 30 million digital page views every month during its race season, the company says.

“It has been a true pleasure to help reignite the energy at MarathonFoto, now that our primary focus is back on endurance sports,” said David Lavallee, Co-Founder and CEO of Gameface Media. “As we look to the future of building and improving upon the legacy platform MarathonFoto developed, we realize that the key ingredient is people. We have a great core team, but to meet our vision we need to enhance that group with a few more great people and I am very happy to have Bruce join our team.”

“I’m thrilled to be re-joining Brad and the MarathonFoto team,” said Franke. “David is a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit. His energy gets everyone around him motivated to be their very best. I am happy to be working with such a great team to take MarathonFoto to a new level of engagement with our event clients and their participants.”

The combined company will offer a range of solutions for athletes including photos for sale at major marathons and free digital photos at many smaller events across the country. Gameface launched a new model for amateur sports photography five years ago by providing its photos for free to athletes through a sponsorship model. All endurance sports photos in 2020 and beyond will be provided under the MarathonFoto brand name, although the revenue model will incorporate elements pioneered by Gameface.

Lavallee will continue to lead digital media engagement for the combined company, connecting amateur endurance athletes and leading brands. Past digital photo sponsorship clients include Nike, New Balance, John Hancock, Michelob Ultra, Reebok, Strava and the U.S. Army. Lavallee will also continue to edit and to publish Six Minute Mile, the endurance sports email newsletter launched by Gameface in 2018.

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2 thoughts on “After purchase by GameFace, MarathonFoto announces Bruce Franke returns

  1. Bob Mulholland

    Gameface has blown through millions of dollars of investment capital and not paid many photographers who did jobs for them yet somehow they’re buying MarathonFoto. Amazing.

    1. Thanks for the input, Bob. I was not aware of this. Keep me posted. GP

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