Two years ago New York Road Runners was the object of intense public scorn for dragging its feet before canceling the annual New York City Marathon in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
The running club is moving beyond this painful chapter by embracing its host city more than ever, with marketing slogans like “Get your New York on.” It is also emphasizing technology as it produces the first marathon with its new title sponsor, Tata Consultancy Services. Based in India, the information-technology conglomerate inked an eight-year deal with NYRR last year, helping the club erase a post-Sandy financial deficit on an operating budget of about $61 million. TCS succeeded Dutch financial firm ING.
“Between the combination of Sandy and then what happened in Boston [the 2013 bombings at that city’s marathon], we all appreciate to a whole other level the precious opportunity we have to run on these streets and to celebrate the city,” said Mary Wittenberg, chief executive of NYRR.
With the TCS New York City Marathon taking place on Nov. 2, the new partners are eager to show that Sandy is in the rearview mirror—though not forgotten—and that what defines the race now is its high-tech features.
This week, the partners will unveil the first of these initiatives. Among them are four digital clocks at a souped-up finish line that will track the running times of the four waves of runners, an upgrade from a clock that simply tracked the first wave’s finish times.
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