Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the Title and Technology Sponsor for the TCS New York City (NYC) Marathon; it’s also the premier, year-round partner of New York Road Runners (NYRR), the event organizer.
TCS created the event’s app (available internationally for android and iOS). In 2017, the official race app was downloaded a record 334,000 times (most ever for any marathon), up from 317,000 downloads in 2016. The iOS version of the app was ranked as the ‘#1 free sports app’ and ‘#1 free app’ in the Apple Store on race day for the third consecutive year.
The app was primarily designed to assist and engage runners and spectators and its benefits are realized both nationally and around the globe. To better serve this target audience, improvements were made to existing features such as runner tracking. For the first time in 2017, users could track an unlimited number of runners. Of the 51,237 runners who started the race, 99% were tracked using either the app or liveresults.nyrr.org. Top-tracked runners were each tracked by more than 10,000 users.
Also new this year were digital cheer cards, inspired by the new TCS New York City Marathon marketing campaign, “It Will Move You.” The cards’ simple design allowed users to customize each Cheer Card by adding personal photos, along with text and stickers that matched the creative assets used throughout the campaign. More than 70,000 Cheer Cards were created in the app—46,000 on race day alone—and 17,200 unique runners were tagged in Cheer Cards. After the race, runners were emailed the Cheer Cards created for them.
With 2+ million on-site spectators lining the Marathon course, and 51,000+ runners, it used to be virtually impossible for spectators to find their loved ones as they ran. But with the mobile app’s enhanced tracking capabilities, friends and family were able to see on a map the exact whereabouts of their runner(s), knowing exactly where and when to cheer, provide a hug or offer encouragement. And beyond spectators in NYC, friends and family could track runners from the comfort of their home and sent support from afar. This feature is unique to the app and isn’t available on any other marathon mobile application in the world.
Year-over-year growth can be attributed to new features designed to boost engagement for runners, spectators and fans. New, innovative features:
• Live, on-map tracking of runners— allowed users to track an unlimited number of runners for the first time!
• NYRR Race Predictor Powered by Tata Consultancy Services—used each runner’s unique running history to predict accurate finish times.
• The Live Pro-Athlete Leaderboard –provided the list of leaders, along with their bios including stats and career highlights. Users could instantly track these runners with one tap.
• Cheer Cards – allowed users to create digital cheer cards to share on social media. Nearly 70,000 cheer cards were created.
• Post-finish tracking - showed when runners exited Central Park for easy reunification.
• Real-time runner tracking for the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K (the day before the marathon).
• E-commerce section - drove users to newbalance.com, where they could shop for official TCS New York City Marathon merchandise.
• Interactive maps to guide users through the TCS New York City Marathon Health and Wellness Expo, and ‘connected’ maps of the race course and subway to plan where to see and cheer on specific runners.