Imagine the Difference | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

Imagine the Difference

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Most Creative Partnership with an Athlete or Influencer


The Imagine the Difference campaign with Boston Marathon champion and two-time Olympian Des Linden shows how TCS’ digital twin technology can enhance an athlete’s training, recovery, and performance before they even get to the starting line. Imagine how powerful it would be to see the outcomes of decisions — before they’re even made. Digital twin technology literally turns imagination into reality.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

The Imagine the Difference campaign between Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Des Linden is a groundbreaking example of how B2B companies can creatively partner with an influencer.

TCS has been the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon for ten years, in addition to being the official technology consulting partner. The TCS NYC Marathon is the largest marathon in the world with more than 50,000 runners and two million spectators, providing a unique opportunity to reach potential clients, engage employees and current customers, and target media. As part of this partnership, TCS also develops and manages the TCS NYC Marathon app, which puts their technology directly in the hands of runners and spectators to promote their innovative capabilities.

As 2023 would be TCS’ 10th year sponsoring the marathon, they needed a new story to still capture attention for this long-standing partnership among the hundreds of other competing narratives during marathon weekend. Partnering directly with a marathon legend to showcase the potential of innovative technology is everyone in the running community and marathon ecosystem. It proves that B2B companies can successfully partner with influencers to drive business growth, enhance brand awareness, and improve brand affinity.



With the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, Generative AI (GenAI) has dominated the news cycles and disrupted business plans. GenAI is rapidly changing the world, creating opportunities for businesses to activate on different angles on an ongoing basis that builds their technology narrative and brand. This topic is timely and relevant, but the space was saturated and overwhelmingly pessimistic.

TCS needed to find a white space within this ongoing conversation that would not paint the company in a negative light, while drawing attention to the potential and benefits of this technology for TCS clients. As part of their extensive work in AI, TCS has been developing digital twins&dmdash;a virtual representation of a physical entity or system—to support different industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and consumer goods, in finding efficient and safe solutions by simulating digital scenarios.

Des Linden is widely known and respected in the running community. She is also deliberate and thoughtful about her training, and she uses that to inspire others. A campaign incorporating Des’ passion and strategy into the AI media narrative and TCS’ digital twin technology, ties endurance running and technology together in a new and creative way.

Strategy & Execution

The Imagine the Difference campaign announced a digital twin of Des Linden’s heart. TCS and Ogilvy executed a global media program with a core digital twin heart storyline, tying in the marathon and the current AI media trend, targeting technology, AI, and sports media, in addition to a paid media campaign, supported by UM/RedSnap and Octagon. The campaign was announced right before the marathon to drive awareness and attention with an added heavy push during the week of the TCS NYC Marathon to continue to build coverage and engagement.

The campaign showcased TCS’ digital twin capabilities through a celebrated global event to deliver a relatable value proposition to clients and prospects. TCS is a leading global technology brand that has a history of supporting endurance running races – establishing a meaningful program in partnership with a well-known running legend showcases their technology through sport in an authentic and relatable way.

Octagon developed spots that explain how Des could use a digital twin to improve her training. The spots were broadcast and used in global media outreach. An integrated paid campaign targeted Fortune 500 businesses at the C-suite/VP level, and tech and sport enthusiasts with social and display ads.


  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
  • Octagon
  • Golden Child Media


  • Des Linden


Michelle Taylor
Head, Global Sports Sponsorships
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Haley Price
Head of Sports Sponsorships, North America
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Jaclyn Siskind
Global Content Lead, Sports Sponsorships
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Nathan Bult
Public Relations Manager, North America
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Srinivasan Jayaraman
Principal Scientist, Digital Medicine and Medical Technologies Unit
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Sanke Yung
Art Director

Stephanie Uriostegui
Jr. Producer

Jennifer Royka
Senior Editor

Camille Argentar
Jr. Editor

Anthony Pensiero
ACD, Design

Thai Ngo

Ian Hall
Senior Vice President

Eileen Waller
Senior Vice President

Rachel Reeves
Account Director, Sponsorships

James Sibio
Executive Producer
Golden Child Media

Federico Mazzarisi
Golden Child Media

Johan Florez
Director of Photography
Golden Child Media

Matt Malichio
Executive Creative Director

Sean LaGamma
Executive Producer

Priscilla Cutri
Creative Director

Melissa Johnson
Senior Producer

Austin Cheely

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.