- TCS has signed a 6-year partnership with the
London Marathonlike his title partnerwhere the organization will use Technologyto improve the overall event experience.
- Over the years, TCS has partnered with some of the biggest running events in the world, events spanning 4 continents and 12 different cities.
- We talk to
Michelle doti taylor, Head of Global Sports Sponsorships at TCS, who has helped make many of these associations a reality. Taylor tells us everything there is to know about the London Marathon Association and also explains why sports marketing is a key strategy for the TCS brand.
The London Marathon is poised to become more accessible and inclusive and it is
TCS has developed the official marathon event app that allows participants and spectators, from anywhere in the world, to experience the marathon.
Over the years, TCS has partnered with some of the biggest running events in the world, events spanning 4 continents and 12 different cities. Michelle Doti Taylor, Head of Global Sports Sponsorships at TCS, has helped make many of these associations a reality. She currently oversees a portfolio of 14 sponsorships. In a recent conversation with her, we tried to understand what the London Marathon partnership entails, why sports marketing is so crucial to TCS, how it has helped the organization make the TCS brand what it is. ‘she is today.
Everything about the London Marathon
The TCS recently announced that it will become the title partner of the London Marathon from 2022, following this year’s race on October 3.
While the organization partnered with the London Marathon as
Speaking of TCS ‘new role as title partner of the London Marathon, Taylor said, “TCS has been committed to running for years. We have been involved in world running events for over 10 years now, and partner of the London Marathon since 2016. We have had this relationship for quite some time where we have had time to understand the event. We’ve always had bigger ambitions for partnership and running and what running can do for the community and for TCS. So when that opportunity presented itself, we couldn’t have been more excited to build on much of the work we had already done with the London Marathon and play a bigger role and to see how we can grow and say more. of the history of TCS through the marathon and this event.
TCS developed the official app for the event and in 2020 the app was updated to help participants in the first virtual London Marathon during the pandemic. Also this year, TCS aims to make the overall experience more engaging for participants and spectators.
“The app has really changed the game for sport. In the past, when spectators came to a marathon, you had a 26.2 mile course with thousands of runners. Being able to see your person was always left to chance. But this technology makes it possible to track runners, which has really changed the sport not only from the viewpoint of the spectators, but also for the runners. Being able to hear the cheers of their loved ones when they needed it most on the course to really rally them across the finish line was truly amazing. This is going to continue to be our hero activation across London and we will certainly continue to do more as the technology evolves. We really want to improve the experience.
In 2020, TCS updated the app to help participants in the first virtual London Marathon during the pandemic. The plan is to use digital innovation to further improve the event experience for all future races which will continue to be a hybrid of physical and virtual events. This year, approximately 50,000 runners will participate in the main physical event and another 50,000 will participate in the virtual event.
“In 2020, when the pandemic hit and the whole world was trying to figure out how we were going to move forward, technology became key across all industries on how we would progress and how we could always stay connected. And it was no different in sports and in the marathon too. TCS was therefore able to work with all our partners, in particular the London Marathon, to really switch the event live to virtual and be able to offer this incredible experience to interested people all over the world. And that opened the doors to make the marathon really more accessible. In the past, if you wanted to participate in the London Marathon, you had to have the means and the funds to be able to travel to London, to be able to get entry, which is also incredibly difficult. And through this technology, we brought running to people while giving them a taste of London where they could hear the sights and sounds of the city as they ran through their own neighborhoods. It was a really exciting experience in a really tough time to be able to connect runners all over the world and we look forward to continuing our work to really personalize the experience, ”she added.
TCS and sports marketing connect
Although a global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, TCS has a historic track record with major marathons across the globe including New York, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Mumbai. TCS even sponsors an F1 driver in Japan, via Nakajima Racing.
So what is the connection between TCS and sport? “Our then president was trying to improve his own health and he started his own walking and running routine. And when he saw how much it really improved his quality of life, he said, “If it’s that good for me, imagine how good it will be for all of our employees.” So TCS launched Fit4Life, and our employees immediately jumped on it and started getting active themselves. Again, TCS looked inward and said, “If this does such good things for our people, what about our customers and the communities where we work and live? And that’s where TCS started to pivot and look at sports sponsorships and see how those sponsorships empower communities to be healthier and fitter. Marathons are huge milestones for people but also, marathons provide a huge platform for fundraising and charities at all levels. In many ways, the marathon is an analogy to life and we think it’s a perfect alignment for us, ”explained Taylor.
TCS fortifying brand
While there are many facets to building a brand, for TCS its most significant investment has been in its large global portfolio of marathon sponsorships. In 2004, after the formalization of TCS’s marketing department, she slowly started leveraging sports, not only to strengthen her brand, but also to engage her stakeholders.
On how these associations transformed the TCS brand into what it is today, Taylor said, “I always say TCS really has a soul. As a business, we believe in community. Through all of these sports partnerships, we started with a common goal around community and improving people’s lives. Many of our running partners are very focused on improving people’s lives through running and TCS believes in it too. Our expertise is around technology, we just tap into our knowledge of technology to see how we can give back to the community and improve people’s lives.