Tech Partner TCS Launches London Marathon App & Ads For First Mass/Virtual Combined Event

TCS London Marathon App 1

In the last week of September, global IT services giant TCS launched a campaign promoting its official 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon app to promote the brand, it’s race partnership and to drive app downloads through the iOS App Store and Google Play Store focusing on its role in the event’s ‘revolutionary approach’ to mass participation.


The blended social, digital and PR promotion pitches the 2021 race as the most inclusive marathon in history as it is the first ever London Marathon to include 40,000-plus participants physically on the London course and an additional 40,000 taking part virtually from across the world via the app.




For those participating virtually, the app is the primary functional link which enables them to earn their medal, digital certificate and even a chance to share an official finish-line selfie with their event stats. It also brings the virtual marathon experience to life through several functions ranging from an exclusive audio commentary featuring famous voices and a memorable race soundtrack to the day (with the sound of a cheering crowd triggered at half mile intervals to motivate participants to cross the virtual finishing line).


While spectators can use the app to track an unlimited number of participants so they can follow all their friends, family, celebrities and elite athletes on the interactive course map.


Other fresh features on the 2021 app include a function allowing participants to name two supporters who will be able to see their live location, and all supporters will be able to see their progress mapped on the London course.



Activation sub-strands include a scannable smart medal initiative which offers runners access to a virtual trophy cabinet and a competition encouraging runners to snap a selfie at mile 13.1 of the race with The Official 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon App powered by TCS and then post on your social media channels in order to be in with a chance to win running kit.








This campaign follows TCS’ 2020 #ThisRunLondon activation will rolled out during the pandemic an promoted a race where a small group of elite athletes raced around a revised course in St James’s Park while all other participants participated virtually: 37,966 finished the event – setting a new Guinness World Record for the most users to run a remote marathon in a 24-hour period.


This year’s partnership will be boosted in future years after the June 2021 announcement that TCS had penned an expanded partnership deal which will see it replace Virgin Money from 3 October as the new title partner of the London Marathon between 2022 and 2027.


TCS’s new role will expand its tech race support to further enhance the marathon experience, while it will increase its event activation with a focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle and amplifying one of the founding pillars of the London Marathon: ‘to show the family of mankind can be united’.


TCS will become the seventh title partner in the 40 year history of the London Marathon:
> 1981-83: Gillette
> 1984-88: Mars
> 1989-92: ADT
> 1993-95: NutraSweet
> 1996-2009: Flora
> 2010-present: Virgin (Virgin Money from 2013)


TCS has been technology partner of the London Marathon since 2016, developing the record-breaking official event app in 2019 which was designed to provide participants and spectators with the fullest London Marathon experience.


Amit Kapur, TCS Country Head UK & Ireland commented: “The London Marathon was founded on the core belief that the family of mankind can be united. TCS is building innovative and impactful technology solutions to help realize this belief, and inspire people to believe in themselves. We are pleased to take on the role of title partner and lead the way in driving the future success of physical and virtual London Marathons.”


“We are delighted to welcome TCS as the new title sponsor of the London Marathon from 2022. This is a landmark day in our history and we look forward to working with TCS to evolve and grow our digital reach, inspire millions more to become active and develop opportunities to raise even more for charities,” added London Marathon Events Event Director of High Brasher. “TCS has been an integral part of the London Marathon for the past five years, delivering the latest technology to enhance the marathon experience for participants and spectators. This new title partnership marks the dawning of a new era in what we can achieve together.”


The deal consolidates TCS’s strategy of placing marathions are the heart of its marketing mix and other major deals include its title sponsorship of the New York Marathon (which it also extended in July, 2021 with an eight-year contract with New York Road Runners (NYRR) to continue its title and technology sponsorship through 2029) and its partnership with the TCS Lidingöloppet in Sweden.



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