Freescale to sponsor 2014 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. will return to the role of presenting sponsor the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon for the 2014 race, Freescale CEO Gregg Lowe told employees June 4.

The Oak Hill–based company—then called Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector—helped create the marathon in 1991 and sponsored the race for 14 years, Lowe said.

"We're committed to the Austin community, and we want to leverage our sponsorship of the marathon to raise awareness and funding for science, technology, engineering and math education," he said.

Donation proceeds from the race will go to the nonprofit Freescale Foundation, which supports science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education initiatives from kindergarten through 12th grade. It also encourages women and those from traditionally underrepresented or disadvantaged groups to pursue STEM studies, according to the foundation's website.

Freescale plans to partner with area school districts and host STEM-related events before the marathon, which takes place Feb. 16. The donations will fund grant-based education programs.

Austin Marathon Director John Conley thanked Freescale for its past partnership efforts and Mayor Lee Leffingwell for his advocacy of the marathon.

"The City of Austin is proud to partner with Freescale as presenting sponsor to put on the next marathon in this city," Leffingwell said, adding that he planned to hold the finish line tape at the race.

Students and faculty from Manor New Technology High School and The Girls' School of Austin were recognized during the announcement. Students shared marathon-related math and science facts and piloted a robot to cross a finish line on the stage.

"We feel that the Austin Marathon is a great opportunity to be part of our community and to make a meaningful contribution to STEM education in Austin," Lowe said.

The Austin Marathon and Half Marathon has generated more than $75 million in economic benefit to the Austin economy and generated $5 million in proceeds for Austin nonprofits, according to a news release from Freescale.