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Tata extends Amsterdam Marathon sponsorship

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and sports organisation Le Champion have extended their long-standing business relationship with another five years. TCS has been title sponsor of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon since 2011. The company will keep the naming rights for the marathon up to and including the 2025 edition, the year of the event’s 50th anniversary. The renewed TCS – Le Champion partnership revolves around further integration of the digital technology surrounding the TCS Amsterdam Marathon to enhance the experience of runners and spectators alike. The 45th TCS Amsterdam Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, 17 October 2021.

Tata (TCS) extends Amsterdam Marathon sponsorship until 2025

Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam: “We are delighted that TCS has decided for the third time in a row to sponsor the Amsterdam Marathon for five years. Great news for the thousands of runners who take on this sporting challenge again and again!”

Simone Kukenheim, Alderman for Sports, City of Amsterdam: “Congratulations to Le Champion, TCS, but also to all Amsterdammers. The marathon is our largest annual sporting event, which gets many Amsterdammers, young and old, moving at every level and which puts the city in the international sporting spotlight. Even though planning a major event like the marathon is uncertain during the Covid19 pandemic, the extension of the sponsorship contract for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon until 2025 is very positive news.”

Platinum Label marathon

Since TCS took over the title sponsorship of the event the TCS Amsterdam Marathon has become one of the world’s largest and fastest marathons. The 2019 edition counted 45,000 runners from a record-breaking 140 nationalities. In 2020, TCS Amsterdam Marathon became a World Athletics Platinum Label Road Race. This coveted decoration is the culmination of the enormous growth the sporting event has experienced over the past decade. Only 12 other marathons can lay claim to the Platinum Label distinction, which is, among others, awarded to races with a very strong field of participants. Lawrence Cherono’s 2018 course record of 2:04:06, placed Amsterdam sixth on the list of fastest marathon cities.

René Wit, Race Director TCS Amsterdam Marathon: “From the moment TCS became title sponsor, we have shared the same ambition and dedication to grow our event. Not only in number of participants, but also in quality and experience. With the extended partnership we can further realize our plans for the future, whereby we continue to invest in an attractive elite field in combination with a total offer for recreational sport. Moreover, at a time when technology is making an ever-greater impact on sporting events, we cannot wish for a better partner with TCS. We look forward to looking together for new possibilities to make running even more fun with the help of technology.”

Josu Devasia, Country Head TCS Netherlands: “The reason we partnered with Le Champion back in 2011 was to promote health and well-being in society and show our commitment to the Dutch market. By turning this event into a running experience for colleagues, clients, partners and business relations, participation grew into something bigger than just a great way to stay in shape. Through the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, many lasting, fun, valuable and relevant relationships have been built. We see great potential to further increase this value for spectators and participants through technology, building on the experience we gained after going virtual last year. I am excited to explore this together with Le Champion and other partners in the 5 years ahead a of us.”

Virtual edition creates possibilities

After the 2020 TCS Amsterdam Marathon was cancelled on account of COVID-19, TCS and Le Champion decided to organize a virtual event. A Virtual Run app was launched to enable runners to plan their own course in their own time and location. Over 6,000 runners from 104 different countries entered the Virtual TCS Amsterdam Marathon. The success of Virtual Run has opened a world of new possibilities for runners, sponsors and the organization. TCS and Le Champion see the app as the means to enhance the accessibility of the race over the coming years as well as the experience and interconnectedness of the runners and have therefore decided to make the virtual marathon a fixed element of the annual event. It will remain a fixture even when the restrictions are lifted and the actual race is reinstated in all its glory.

Digital transformation of sporting events: hybrid marathons are the future

Integrating virtual elements into the physical event will enable the marathon to continue to grow without challenging the manageability of the Amsterdam event. Participants to other TCS races, for examples those in London, New York, Stockholm, Boston, Chicago, Mumbai and Bangalore, can take part without the need for physical travel, enabling avid runners to compete year-round.

TCS as title sponsor: enriching sports through technology

In recent years, TCS has developed technologies that greatly enhance the experience of runners and spectators alike. Two examples of these technologies are the official TCS Amsterdam Marathon Race App and the Smart Medal, which was introduced in 2019 for runners to share on social media. TCS also introduced Racefox in the Netherlands, an AI-based personal coach for runners to help them prepare for races, improve their technique and prevent injuries.

This Run Community: a running network

TCS also produced the international campaign ‘This Run Unites Us’ to draw attention to the different reasons participants have to enter a race. By sharing this diverse range of motives, TCS hopes to inspire more people to start running. To give this solo sport a more inclusive character, TCS strives to create a This Run community that encompasses physical and virtual elements. Another benefit of running events and the This Run community is that it becomes easier for TCS clients and business relations to establish contacts with their peers at other companies and/or in other parts of the world.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle

TCS sponsors running events across the globe because the activity is closely related to the TCS core value of giving back to the community. Many TCS employees, clients and partners worldwide spend much of their working day behind a laptop. Through event sponsorships and by stimulating people to participate in running events, TCS aims to promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle among those groups–who account for approximately 3,000 participants of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. Their participation raises money for cancer research at the UMC Cancer Center Amsterdam: so far, 1,8 million euro and counting.

Le Champion

Le Champion organizes unique and trend-setting sporting events in the fields of cycling, running and hiking in the Netherlands. In addition to the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, the foundation organizes other large-scale events such as the Dam tot Dam Walk in Amsterdam, NN Egmond Half Marathon, Zandvoort Circuit Run, the MTB beach race Egmond-Pier-Egmond and the four-day hiking event Plus Wandel4daagse Alkmaar. Its 3,500 volunteers and close to 20,000 members make Le Champion one of the largest sporting organizations in the Netherlands.