New Delhi, Oct 4,2022: After wrapping up a train in London with the Tata logo, the premier Indian conglomerate has now branded the London Marathon in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) colours. It is not often that one sees Indian logos splashed across international events.
The London Marathon is regarded as one of the top six marathons internationally-called the World Marathon Majors. More than 40,000 runners participated in the event on October 2, now called the TCS London Marathon.
With the TCS logo omnipresent on the 42-km route, Indian runners felt immense joy as many had specially gone from India.
India Narrative reached out to Indians who participated in the London run.
Rashmi Mohanty, who has run several marathon and ultra-marathons in India and abroad, said she felt “proud to see TCS everywhere. It seemed like an event that was our own. It was very well organised as the start and finish had clear markers. Different areas were clearly segregated for various things.”
Mohanty felt that it was great to see an Indian business house sponsoring such a prestigious running event. “Clearly India has arrived on the global map of running. The best part is that every runner and their supporters carry back home the name TCS with them – whether the finishers’ T-shirt, the memorabilia or the background pictures with TCS.”
Other runners also appreciated the smoothness of the event.
Gurgaon runner Randeep Arora told India Narrative that it was his first marathon in London. He went with a group of about 50 Indian runners.
For Arora, the London Marathon was also a culmination of six years of practice of participating in the top global marathons. He was awed with the overwhelming TCS branding.
Arora said: “TCS hoardings and banners were everywhere. When I went to collect the running bib, it was TCS all over the place. Just imagine that all the products – jackets, shorts and T-shirts – have TCS printed all over them. It was lovely to see how TCS is spreading itself. An entire bridge 400 yards before the finishing line was totally covered in TCS.”
Talking about his personal achievements, Arora said that for him the London Marathon was a climax as he finished all six World Majors – Boston, Berlin, Chicago, Tokyo, New York and of course London – putting him in the category of about 55 odd Indians worldwide to have achieved the feat.
Delhi runners too were elated with the London Marathon development.
Triathlete and the founder of one of the biggest cycling groups in the NCR region, Amit Upadhyay said that he feels a sense of pride that TCS has taken the sponsorship of the London Marathon. “I am sure this will lead to more Indians participating in the London Marathon. This will also create more awareness about running and fitness in India.”
Upadhyay, an ambassador for many marathons and a Super Randonneur in cycling, hopes that Indian companies like the TCS, already involved in holding marathons in the country, will try to make Indian events world class. Upadhyay said: “I hope Indian companies like TCS elevate Indian marathons to international standards and we get more international level athletes. Marathons foster community feeling among participants and runners. They help people achieve fitness goals.”
Sangeeta Saikia, a known Delhi runner and administrator of the Delhi Runners Group agrees that marathons encourage fitness, build a community of runners and promote health.
Saikia said: “We have such a positive connection with the Tata Group. By sponsoring the marathons, TCS has become a global brand now. They were already handling the London Marathon’s technology component. But now they are doing the whole thing. It is huge for us that TCS is doing one of the premier running events.”
TCS has taken the sponsorship for the London Marathon from 2022 to 2027. For the past three years before this it was sponsored by Virgin. Delhi runners say with TCS at the helm of affairs, the Marathon will only witness a bigger participation from Indians.