The New York Road Runners signed Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS), Asia’s largest computer-services exporter by market value, as the title sponsor of the New York City Marathon beginning next year.
The annual race through the five boroughs will be known as the TCS New York City Marathon under an eight-year agreement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
ING U.S. Inc. said about two months ago that it would end its sponsorship of the marathon after this year’s race as it moves away from its Dutch owner, ING Groep NV (INGA), which has sponsored the event since 2003.
The NYRR was seeking a partner that “shared the belief in unlocking the potential in people to run, and elevating the health and wellness of whole communities,” said Mary Wittenberg, the Road Runners’ chief executive officer.
“Technology has become such a big driver and influence in the city, so we were especially excited to tie those two areas together,” Wittenberg said in a telephone interview.
Though the partnership is signed and work will begin now on improving the NYRR’s technology structure, Wittenberg said, the name change will begin Nov. 4, the day after this year’s NYC Marathon that is expected to draw about 48,000 runners.
“We’re babes in the woods in terms of where we are with technology,” Wittenberg said. “There are a lot of areas we lead with New York Road Runners. I don’t think it’s technology right now.”
TCS, a Mumbai-based part of Tata Sons Ltd., India’s largest industrial conglomerate, has about 277,000 consultants in 44 countries, generating revenue of $11.6 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, according to the statement.
About 50 percent of TCS’s business is U.S. based, according to Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chief executive officer.
“Wellness, fitness, education; these are the types of initiatives we actively promote in the communities,” Chandrasekaran said in a telephone interview. “It helps us to bring the talent that we have to leverage in the work we do in communities, and it helps us to energize our workforce.”
Last year’s NYC Marathon was amid criticism over initial plans to hold the race days after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the city.
“We have since last November focused on being here with all of our full energy and resources for our community in New York,” Wittenberg said.
Still, the new NYC Marathon logo has a global focus, with blue, yellow, red and green roads leading into the Statue of Liberty, an image that “most represents New York City as welcoming the world,” Wittenberg said.
The New York race has a large international contingent, with last year’s 47,000 entries including 20,000 from outside the U.S.
Chandrasekaran, 50, ran the NYC Marathon in 2009, and said he has also run Boston and Chicago.
“I compete with myself every time and my goal is to complete every race,” he said. “I’m not running in 2013, but maybe 2014.”
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