Standard Chartered is to hold an international marathon along the coastline of South Mumbai on February 15, 2004. The marathon is 42.195 kms, half the marathon is 21.09 kms and the Dream Run is 7 kms. Besides celebrities, sportsmen and participants, the event will see 10 male and female athletes from the world’s top 40 marathoners vying for the prize money of US $ 210,000, the largest in Asia.
Standard Chartered now has four international marathons under its name, having been associated with Hong Kong, Singapore and Nairobi marathons. The bank has supported the marathon in Hong Kong since 1997, which has today become a banner event for Hong Kong. The other sponsors for the event in Mumbai include Essar Group, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Sify, Radio Mirchi 98.3FM, ESPN Star Sports, Switcher, the Times Group, Kingfisher and Air India.
The International Marathon provides an opportunity to raise money for charities. GiveIndia is coordinating individual and corporate efforts towards raising money. The announcement came at a press meet in Mumbai. MA Ravi Kumar (Regional Head, Global Markets, Standard Chartered), Mathan Varkey (Vice President, GiveIndia), MTV VJ Aditya, actress Tanuja, Rahul Bose, Tanisha Mukherji and Sita Thompson were amongst those present on the occasion.
MA Ravi Kumar, Regional Head, Global Markets, Standard Chartered states, “There are several reasons for taking part in the Standard Chartered International marathon, which includes fitness, endurance, fun etc. But the single-most compelling reason is the fact that you can run to raise money for over 120 charities across India. We at Standard Chartered are particularly proud of this fact.”
Mathan Varkey, Vice President, GiveIndia asserts, “The initial response has been most encouraging and we are hopeful of a significant collection for some truly worthwhile causes. At the London marathon last year, over 32,000 runners raised 31 million (215 crore). Though our expectations are a lot more modest in this case, what’s encouraging is that a wide variety of people, from corporate houses, to individuals, to celebrities are participating.”
Varkey adds, “Besides registering at Rs. 20 for the Dream Run (Rs. 100 goes to charity), runners are asking family and colleagues to support their efforts by pledging additional money which would be going to the nominated charity. In some cases, organizations like Standard Chartered, ICICI Bank and IL&FS have gone a step forward and pledged to match the money collected by their employees participating in the race. Organizations like McKinsey and Ambuja Cement are also sponsoring teams for a cause.
The communication delivered for the event is “Run Mumbai Run” and Portland India (the outdoor entity that handles Standard Chartered) displayed the same as platform signage across 13 stations in Mumbai. A Portland spokesperson says, “Due to the very nature of the railways within this city, we have lakhs of Mumbaikars who rush everyday across platforms to get aboard a train. The association thus gels with the event communication. Through our innovation, we are inducing people living in various suburbs to participate in the event. The idea was to take on something innovative, which has not been explored.”
He adds, “The signage serves the purpose of the suburb in the most effective manner. It highlights the call center number that would enable people to call and participate in India’s biggest marathon event. Since there are two languages used for the station identity, the communication has been fitted accordingly."