Marathons’ Sponsorship and Social Conversations

Jessica    November 6, 2015

Industry: Running, Marathon, Sponsorship

Web References:,,;

I have been running for a couple of years now and I ran my first half-marathon in last September. What an amazing experience! But one of the things that have surprised me is the presence of social media as an important part of the success of those events. Running has become very popular in the recent years, so the marathons’ organizations have therefore embraced the reach and power of social media.

Social media are now the best way to communicate with the marathons’ participants – where do they have to go, what is the process to get their bib, details of the event, pictures, etc. But it is also an important channel for supporters – to follow their friends in real time, encourage them, know how to circulate on the site, etc.

So you can imagine how those events can represent a huge opportunity for companies to reach and engage their actual customers and new customers?

For those organisations that sponsored marathons, social media is a powerful tool to boost their sponsorship. But beyond boosting their sponsorship, measuring the impact and the return they get is what will drives their business results.

Analyzing social data will help them take advantage of those social conversations and timely react.

Social metrics are key to help companies position themselves on the market and see how they are doing against their competitor. Through social data they can gain great insights and market intelligence to strengthen their strategy, just as shown in an insurance industry snapshot from Hootsuite.

As sponsor of those events, companies want to distinguish themselves and win their ‘social race’.


John Hancock is a great example. As the official Boston marathon sponsor, they launch the #WeRunTogether campaign in 2014, to raise money for ONE FUND, which supports those most affected by the tragic Boston Marathon bombings. The campaign was a huge success resultint in 58 000+ engagement with John Hancock and raising over $52,400.

Virgin Money is one of the official sponsors of London marathon and their #extramile campaign has also stand out. The hashtag was used over 10,000 times and has achieved a 79% share of voice compared to the other corporate sponsors.

Submitted By: Jessica Landry, University of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email at:

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.