India’s financial capital is gearing up for a different kind of competition this Sunday – the Mumbai Marathon. The Mumbai Marathon was conceptualised three years back by Anil Singh and Vivek Singh, Managing Directors of sports and leisure management company Procam International and title sponsor Standard Chartered.
The third edition of the Mumbai Marathon is expected to be bigger and better than the ones before. This year, the event is expecting to raise Rs 5 crore for charity and this is probably one of the highest donations through an event like this. The money will be distributed to NGOs through GiveIndia, the event’s official charity partner.
This year’s marathon has also seen a significant rise in the number of participants – while the first edition had 1,200 participants, this year will witness a whopping 28,100 participants. Though there were close to 50,000 applicants, several had to be turned back as it was not possible to accommodate these many people on the streets of Mumbai.
Said, Procam’s Vivek Singh, “This year we increased the number of running places to 28,000, but even those were filled out before the closing date of registrations. We cannot accommodate more than these numbers on the streets of Mumbai.”
Mumbai Marathon is ratified by the Association of International Marathons & Road Races (AIMS) and the Athletic Federation of India (AFI). Apart from the title sponsor Standard Chartered, Essar is the associate sponsor. Commenting on Standard Chartered Bank’s participation, it’s Head-Marketing, Consumer Bank, Sugato Banerji, said, “Standard Chartered has been long associated with marathons in Mumbai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Nairobi, and we are also planning to associate with marathons in Lahore and Dubai soon.”
He added, “The reason Standard Chartered is associated with these marathons is because banks are your partners for life. Right from opening your student account to salary accounts, providing home loans, insurance and credit cards, Standard Chartered is with you for life. A marathon is very similar to life with all the ups and downs – you start a marathon running in full speed and then you get tired after which your spirit encourages you to run faster and win. Standard Chartered as the title sponsor is saying that we are willing to go with you through the entire experience of the marathon.”
The long list of partners for this international event include Times of India (print partner), Zee Sports (channel partner), Prasar Bharti (broadcast partner), Indiatimes.com (Internet partner), GiveIndia (official charity organisation), Asian Heart Institute will provide free medical check-ups and has arranged for 12 ambulances that will stand at the venue in case of emergencies, Radio Mirchi (radio partner), Air India (airline partner), Switcher (official clothier), BPL Mobile (telecom partner), Kingfisher will provide 75,000 litres of water, DHL (logistics partner), and Oberoi Hotels (hospitality partner).
Elaborating on the marketing initiatives to promote the event, Vivek Singh said, “As far as promoting the Marathon is concerned, there can be no better promotion than live coverage. Besides that, our PR activity begins more than three months prior to the event with press conferences, TV advertisements, newspaper advertisements and promos on television.”
Vivek Singh said, “The entire city treats this event as their very own. Right from the participants to the city officials, the Mumbai Police and state government and even the central government have been tremendously supportive.”
Commenting on the marathon’s sprit, Vivek Singh said, “The marathon’s core sprit is live life to the fullest and celebrate the spirit of Mumbai.”
Banerji added, “ It does not matter for how long one runs in the marathon. What is important is that you become a totally different person while on the track.”