At TCS, we see technology as a bridge between our physical and digital worlds, enhancing our experiences, and creating lasting memories of key moments.
For the first time in the history of major marathons, the professional races of the 2022 TCS NYC Marathon were livestreamed in their entirety on the race app.
Our two main objectives were:
1. Grow the Running Fan Base: Unlike most major professional sporting events, the TCS NYC Marathon does not take place in a stadium or other enclosed space; instead, our arena is a 26.2-mile span of New York City streets, making fan engagement a herculean effort with months of planning but less than 24 hours for execution. With the technology created and distributed through the TCS NYC Marathon App, we made it possible to grow the sport’s fan base. Anyone with access to a smartphone and WiFi could watch the professional races unfold in their entirety.
2. Enhance Equity in Coverage: Historically at major marathons, only some of the women’s race and very little of the wheelchair races have been broadcast. The new event streaming provided identical coverage across all four professional fields proving equality in sports coverage is possible.
Our innovative technology enabled Rose Lokedi, mother of the 2022 TCS NYC Marathon race winner Sharon Lokedi, to watch her daughter win—live—from her home in Kenya. Don’t just take our word for it. The real heart of this story comes from Sharon and Rose, as told in Belief Has No Borders.
At 8.40 am Eastern Time on November 6, 2022, a cannon fired on Staten Island to signal the start of the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon. Sharon Lokedi, 28, from a small village near Eldoret, Kenya, began the first 26.2-mile journey in her promising career as a professional marathoner.
At 4.40 pm Eastern Africa Time on November 6, 2022, the TCS New York City Marathon app was opened on a smartphone in a small village near Eldoret, Kenya. Rose Lokedi prepared to watch Sharon, her daughter, run a marathon for the very first time.
Running changed everything for Sharon. Her talent was evident from a young age. In 2015, Sharon left her home in Kenya and enrolled as a freshman at the University of Kansas. Sharon had a successful collegiate running career and was even an NCAA champion. But along with her achievements came significant sacrifice. Unlike many of her teammates, Sharon’s family couldn’t travel to her races—they lived on the other side of the world.
The 2022 TCS New York City Marathon was different from any race Sharon had run before, and not just because of the distance. This race was different because Sharon’s family watched her run. For the first time in the history of major marathons, the professional races were livestreamed in their entirety on the race app, powered by TCS.
When Sharon crested the Verrazzano Bridge, Rose saw and cheered her on. When Sharon turned onto First Avenue in Manhattan, Rose saw and urged her daughter forward. When Sharon entered Central Park—leading the TCS New York City Marathon with less than a mile ago—Rose saw and fell to the ground in anticipation. When Sharon broke the tape, Rose saw and thanked God for Sharon’s victory.
Belief Has No Borders sought to tell the story of technology bridging physical and digital words and creating lasting memories of key moments like Sharon’s victory at the TCS New York City marathon.
Executing the production of Belief Has No Borders was no small task. After 30+ hours of travel to get to Eldoret, Kenya, Footstep Creative arrived at Rose Lokedi’s home to capture her first-hand account of witnessing Sharon’s win in real time on the TCS New York City Marathon App.
Stone Malick, Max McNerney, and Joe Hale of Footstep Creative were welcomed to Rose Lokedi’s home with a traditional Kenyan meal consisting of chapati, rice, tea, and a freshly butchered chicken from the family coop. Over the meal, Rose shared that she had never been filmed before.
Footstep replayed the final moments of Sharon's race for Rose in her living room and recorded her reaction. Rose’s genuine outpouring of emotion from the evening of November 5, 2022, came out clearly in her voice and actions. Belief Has No Borders sought to successfully capture how technology connected Rose and Sharon during one of the most important moments of their lives despite being separated by eight time zones.
The results demonstrate that both the TCS New York City Marathon’s Pro Runner Feed and the Belief Has No Borders video were resounding successes.
In its first year, the Pro Runner Feed was viewed 313,941 times in more than 150 countries. TCS also won a coveted Webby Award for livestreaming the professional men’s and women’s wheelchair and open division races for the first time in major marathon history, coming away the clear winner after thousands of fans cast their votes in the 27th annual Webby Awards, the leading global award honoring excellence on the Internet.
In addition to support on TCS global social channels, TCS ran a digital campaign that targeted our top 1,000 customers in North America through LinkedIn, Google Ads, YouTube, Meta and Programmatic. Campaign efforts hit 1.6M views and 110k engagements.
On average, visitors spent 9 minutes on the Belief Has No Borders site. We saw 78% engagement through video ads with a view rate of 63% which is significantly higher than average.