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Drawing upon decades of experience, the Marathon team consists of effective strategic thinkers. Our awareness of the constantly evolving public policy landscape enables us to identify the opportunities within even the most daunting of communications challenges. No matter the challenge, hurdles can always be scaled.

Marathon Communications is in the business of identifying and implementing those elusive public policy solutions.

 

WHO WE ARE

A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INSTITUTION

Marathon Communications is a Los Angeles-based strategic communications company with more than 35 years of experience effectively building coalitions and creating consensus for both public and private sector clients. We have represented major real estate development firms, health care, telecommunications, and transportation companies, as well as the County of Los Angeles, and cities throughout the Southern California region.

BORN IN THE CAMPAIGN WORLD

Beginning as a political campaign firm in 1982, Marathon has evolved into a diversified public affairs agency offering a wide variety of services, including government, community and media relations outreach, and direct advocacy. Using our diversified skill set, we can communicate effectively across boundaries to create broad support.

AN ADAPTABLE STRATEGIC RESOURCE

Once an objective is defined, Marathon has the tools, expertise, and relationships to get it achieved. Whether running all aspects of an outreach effort or filling a gap within an existing team, Marathon has a strong record of delivering for our clients through effective strategic thinking and an ability to recognize and harness the necessary resources.

 

Phone

323.655.4660

 

Location

5900 Wilshire Blvd. 
Suite 2350
Los Angeles, CA 90036

 

Contact

info@marathon-com.com

WHAT WE DO

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STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS

Every Marathon strategy is custom tailored to the client, but the goal remains the same: to achieve our clients’ objectives. Whether these aims lie in the realm of public perception or public policy, Marathon has the knowledge and know-how to create messaging to shore up support and neutralize opposition.

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COMMUNITY OUTREACH

All our communication strategies begin at the local level. For decades, we have maintained relationships with neighborhood and community groups, and are always attuned to their concerns. These associations enable us to build consensus and enable our clients to move their projects forward.

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GOVERNMENT OUTREACH

Marathon’s relationships with our colleagues in government are critical to achieving our clients’ objectives. These links have been forged over years of creating consensus between the public and private sectors, and continue to grow as our projects and areas of expertise diversify.

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MEDIA RELATIONS

While our relationships with community and government enable us to shape and target our messaging, it is our connection to the media that allows us to get those messages out. Once we understand what needs to be said and to whom, we know where to go.

CASE STUDIES

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8150 SUNSET

Marathon helped win over skeptical neighbors and ushered the Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use development to unanimous approval from Los Angeles decision-makers after a multi-year process.

To help bolster the project’s success, Marathon led a team of consultants to garner a prestigious Environmental Leadership Development Project designation from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office. The ELDP designation not only earned the project plaudits from the environmental community, it also streamlined judicial review of CEQA challenges.

Marathon took the lead on the public rollout of the Gehry design, earning laudatory media coverage, and amassed and mobilized a strong base of supporters, creating a positive impression among community members by overseeing a multi-faceted campaign through social media, direct mail, small group presentations, and door-to-door canvassing.

 

AVALON WEST HOLLYWOOD

Marathon helped overcome community opposition to shepherd the mixed-use development to approval from West Hollywood decision-makers.

Through multiple iterations of the project for Casden Properties, Marathon led the extensive community outreach program that included numerous neighborhood group and one-on-one presentations, along with a website and direct mail campaign and managing the local media coverage. The result was enthusiastic support from an East Side neighborhood that had felt neglected for far too long and approval from the West Hollywood City Council despite a split vote from the Planning Commission inrecommending against the project.

After AvalonBay took over ownership of the development, Marathon again earned neighborhood and stakeholder support for a dramatic redesign of the project.

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HOLLYWOOD BURBANK AIRPORT

With Marathon as their communications consultant, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority ended a decades-long stalemate over the airport’s future by garnering overwhelming voter approval for a replacement terminal.

Marathon spearheaded a public education campaign. Through public opinion research, a website, mailers, media coverage, and extensive community outreach, the Airport Authority was able to lay out a compelling narrative for why it was necessary to modernize the facility.

Under rules established when tensions were high between the airport and the City of Burbank, the issue had to be put to a public vote. Marathon urged that the matter be placed on the November 2016 ballot so as to appeal to the largest possible pool of voters, and the result was support from 70% of Burbank voters.

 

PONTE VISTA

With Marathon’s guidance, iStar Financial Inc. succeeded in garnering City of Los Angeles approval for the Ponte Vista development in San Pedro in 2014 after two prior plans ran into intense community opposition over the preceding decade.

Marathon helped iStar craft a lower-density development plan that focused on single-family homes for the 61.5-acre site. Through intensive community outreach that featured presentations to San Pedro community organizations and one-on-one engagement with neighbors and area stakeholders, along with an aggressive social media push, the project received unanimous support.

Also critical in changing opinion about the project was Marathon leadership on the development of a package of community benefits, including a 2.5-acre public park that will be maintained in perpetuity bythe developer, creation of a new access road, and establishment of a local hiring program.

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REPUBLIC SERVICES

To meet its ambitious zero waste goals, the City of Los Angeles boldly made the decision to move from an open market to an exclusive franchise system for waste hauling service for commercial and multi-family properties.

Marathon worked closely with Republic Services before, during, and after the procurement process to position the company to be selected for one of the coveted franchise zones. Closely forging ties with the environmental and labor communities and establishing itself as leader in sustainability, Republic forged a strong identity as a conscientious corporate citizen and high-quality service provider.

The hard work over a four-year period paid off when Republic was selected to be the exclusive waste hauler in two of the 11 franchise zones.

 
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ZIPCAR

Zipcar, the world’s largest car-sharing service, engaged Marathon to expand its offerings and footprint in the Los Angeles region.

With the region’s burgeoning transit system and rapidly expanding rideshare services making their debut as a backdrop, Marathon helped position Zipcar as the ultimate “first-mile, last-mile” solution initially in Los Angeles by launching a pilot program in partnership with the Department of Transportation, then with Metro and in neighboring cities such as Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Pasadena.

Through introductions to decision-makers and stakeholders, Zipcar was able to forge partnerships with cities, transportation agencies, and large commercial property owners to broaden the availability of its service.

Positive media attention and glowing reviews from their local partners enabled Zipcar to establish itself as the leading car share provider in Los Angeles.

TEAM

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RICHARD LICHTENSTEIN

Founder and President

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SHEILA GONZAGA

Executive Vice President

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JORGE FLORES

Vice President

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BRIAN LEWIS

Media Relations Director

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JAMES MCDERMOTT

Senior Consultant

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Joy DeLong

Office Manager

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EVAN GORDON

Director of Civic Engagement

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Sharon Leacock

Outreach Coordinator

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GABE KRAMER

Director of Public Affairs

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Vilma Hurtado

Receptionist

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PALOMA PEREZ-MCEVOY

Senior Associate

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A SAMPLE OF CURRENT AND PAST CLIENTS