Tech company TCS renews NYC Marathon rights and will spend $280 million on race sponsorships

Key Points
  • TCS has retained New York City Marathon title rights and plans to spend up to $40 million annually until 2029 on global race sponsorships.
  • The India-based firm also has become the new title sponsor of the London Marathon.
  • TCS also launched a new app for the race that will incorporate augmented reality features to support in-person and virtual runners.

In this article

Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Professional Men's Finish during the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon in New York on November 3, 2019.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

New York Road Runners, the nonprofit that operates marathon races, renewed its title sponsor slot for the New York Marathon with India-based tech company Tata Consultancy Services.

The deal gives the race's title rights to TCS through 2029. The company plans to spend up to $40 million per year on global race sponsorships in that time frame, according to a person familiar with the terms of this agreement who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

TCS is a business-to-business IT firm owned by conglomerate Tata Group. Clients include firms like Microsoft and AstraZeneca. TCS is traded on the National Stock Exchange of India and has a market cap of roughly $159 billion.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Michelle Taylor, TCS' head of global sponsorships, said aligning with the races helps the firm "humanize our brand" and educate participants and spectators about its services.

TCS also sponsors other top marathons, including in Boston, Chicago, Europe and events in Australia. In June, the firm also became the new title sponsor of the London Marathon, taking over rights from financial firm Virgin Money. The new agreement runs through 2027.

"Through these sponsorships, we're able to better articulate who we are," Taylor said. "When we're able to showcase our technology through a lens that people can better understand, a sport they have a passion around — that really helps us make an authentic connection."

India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO and Managing Director Rajesh Gopinathan speaks during a news conference after the announcement of the financial results of the company in Mumbai on April 19, 2018.
Punit Paranjpe | AFP | Getty Images

TCS also launched a new app for the race that will incorporate augmented reality features to support in-person and virtual runners. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

TCS has other sports sponsorships, including a deal with the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers. Taylor didn't rule out the possibility of adding more agreements with additional teams and leagues but said the company is focused on marathons for now.

The 2020 NYC Marathon was canceled due to the Covid pandemic, causing millions of dollars in losses. The most recent figures suggest the race's economic impact exceeded $400 million. This year's race is scheduled for Nov. 7 and celebrates the marathon's 50th anniversary. The 2021 race is expected to draw 33,000 runners.