Blogpost: #ThisRun – Our new global brand campaign

By Michelle Taylor
Head of Global Sports Sponsorships, at Tata Consultancy Services

You can feel it in the air, the energy, the buzz, the smell of muscle cream, it is marathon season.

Here at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), we have a special relationship with running, as arguably the leading B2B sponsor of marathons around the world over the last 10 years. TCS sponsors some of the best endurance running events globally, with races spanning 12 cities and 4 continents. Our marathon sponsorships are based on building relationships and supporting the global running community.

Our sports sponsorship activities align perfectly with our core focus on supporting key stakeholders in living a healthy lifestyle. For example, in the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, we have 2,500 runners − half of which are our clients and many others are partners and employees − out of the 45,000 runners who take part each year. Beyond its obvious health benefits, running continues to be a key way to manage stress and anxiety in difficult times, and to bring people together, albeit virtually this year, in running communities. Internally, we have a programme called Fit4life in which around 300,000 of our employees participate. We also have a TCS crew of runners who take part in marathons all over the world.

But our involvement with running goes beyond the health benefits; it is about building engagement with our clients and our employees and doing good for the communities where we operate. Also, as a technology firm, it gives us an opportunity to showcase our digital technologies and prowess. We want to support all runners globally, to enjoy running and stay connected.

This Run

To link all our running efforts around the world, we launched a new global brand campaign called This Run. It is a cohesive storytelling platform that lives above and beyond the individual TCS running events. It explores the motivations and emotions and celebrates every detail that makes up the running experience. This Run pays tribute to the people who push their bodies and minds to achieve so many things through running, and the innovative role TCS technology plays in enhancing the marathon experience.

Our This Run campaign was first introduced in 2019 through TCS’ activations at the Virgin Money London Marathon, TCS Lidingoloppet (the world’s largest cross-country race in Sweden) and the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. It is now being expanded globally into a year-round campaign across all of TCS’ running sponsorships, including the Virtual TCS New York City Marathon and in between to keep TCS employees and clients inspired. The campaign includes powerful stories such as one client’s journey from a difficult childbirth to crossing the finish line at TCS Lidingoloppet. This Run highlights TCS employees including Netherlands Country Head, Josu Devasia and the role of resilience in running. TCS community initiatives also play a part including a Make #ThisRun Greener Sustainability Challenge with and programs supporting teachers and local heroes to achieve their running goals and incorporate STEM education into their classrooms. 

United By Technology

Our This Run campaign connects runners, wherever they are, and builds a community of runners in which people can feel united. We provide award-winning race apps each year that allow runners and spectators to engage more closely with the event. In 2019, TCS race apps were downloaded more than 1.4 million times.

This year, more than ever technology has played an increased role as major running events turned virtual. TCS apps added new features such as GPS tracking, allowing runners around the world to participate in races virtually. Other new features include unique soundtracks with cheering crowds and motivational music, and photo opportunities with the race medals using augmented reality.

Additional technology integrations include a  360 degree virtual reality course video, animated course videos, smart medals to ‘relive this run’ by storing achievements in a digital portfolio and real-time digital coaching powered by AI. As we do in business, TCS continues to leverage technology to solve problems and add value for our stakeholders and communities.

This Run is for Everyone

Technology and running both have the power to connect and transform people. Marathons have always been about inspiring people and uniting communities. Running also makes you more resilient; it requires you to adapt to the situation, weather and how you feel. For many runners, it is also a purpose-driven activity, whether to improve health, achieve personal goals or to support charity. Plus it enables us to celebrate the role that technology plays in running. This Run combines cool technology and is helping people to do something they love and share such experiences. More than just a campaign, This Run reflects a mindset that celebrates the vital role technology plays in all walks of life. It urges us to be more resilient and adapt to the demands of the situation, while focusing on the purpose of the journey ahead. Our aim is to build a connected business and professional running community within a healthy lifestyle.

We hope you will join us on #ThisRun.