ABOUT THIS ENTRY
For the first time in the history of major marathons, the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon app livestreamed the professional men’s and women’s wheelchair- and open-division races in their entirety, empowering fans to switch between feeds and watch the race of their choice. The Professional Runner Feed and Course Cameras were available free on the 2022 TCS New York City Marathon App, enhancing the broadcast coverage and in-person spectator experience.
How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?
Through the TCS New York City Marathon app, fans were able to watch the professional marathons unfold in their entirety for the first time. Des Linden, a professional athlete in the field noted, “Allowing the long form stories to develop over the course of 26.2 miles will give fans the chance to learn about the contenders and appreciate the nuances of racing that they’ve never seen before.”
Providing fans uninterrupted access to major professional marathons in their entirety should become standard across the sport of running. This creates a blueprint for other road races, as well as other sports with similar formats, such as cycling and sailing, on how to provide greater access to the action.
In addition, the Pro Runner Feed demonstrated how streaming can enhance equity in sport. The new event streaming provided identical coverage across all four professional fields – men’s and women’s open, and men’s and women’s wheelchair – proving equality in sports coverage is possible. Fans were empowered to switch between feeds and watch the race of their choice. Greater access to marathoners builds fan loyalty and will strengthen the sport for years to come.
Our key objectives included:
- Grow the Running Fan Base: Unlike most major professional sporting events, the TCS New York City Marathon does not take place in a stadium or other type of closed space; instead, our arena is a 26.2-mile span of New York City streets, making fan engagement a herculean effort with months of planning but less than 24 hours for execution. With the technology created and distributed by NYRR and TCS through the TCS New York City Marathon App, we made it possible to grow the sport’s fan base. For the first time, fans were able to watch the professional races unfold in their entirety, creating a blueprint for other road races, as well as other sports with similar formats, such as cycling and sailing, on how to provide greater access to the action.
- Enhance Equity in Coverage: The new event streaming provided identical coverage across all four professional fields – men’s and women’s open, and men’s and women’s wheelchair—proving equality in sports coverage is possible without impacting the revenue generated by televised or OTT streaming rights.
Strategy & Execution
The Pro Runner Feed was inspired by feedback gathered from an online running industry forum following the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. The forum contributors, made up of our sport’s most dedicated fans and harshest critics, clearly called for greater coverage of the professional races with fewer interruptions. Following this year’s race, the updated forum generated 32 pages of feedback, primarily praising the new addition to the app.
The new streaming capabilities also broadened the audience’s ability to tune in to the race. While the broadcast of the TCS New York City Marathon is available in 197 territories around the world, parts of the world have limited access to technological resources. This year, the TCS New York City Marathon App lowered the barrier of access to those remote locations, including across East Africa, the home of many of the event’s top contenders. People from more than 150 countries tuned into the Pro Runner Feed.
Modern sports fans demand immediate updates on the action so we, along with Tata Communications, inserted LiveVDN – a premium low latency distribution solution for U.S. based viewers. The high-quality camera feeds streamed with low latency – the lag was less than five seconds in the U.S.
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
- New York Road Runners (NYRR)
- Tata Communications
Head, Global Sports Sponsorships
Head of Sponsorship, North America
Director, IT Project Management
Director, IT Project Management
IT Project Management Specialist
Director, Digital Marketing Initiatives & Planning
Director, Strategic Partnerships & Business Development
SVP, Information Technology & Information Officer
Executive in Charge of Production
Associate Director, Head of Sales Engineering