Marketing ‘Sprintathon’ raises over £50k for cancer research
Brands including Just Eat, Tesco and Mars put forward a team for last week’s event, which was described as the “de facto welcome back” for the industry, following 18 months of Covid-19.
Last week teams from across the marketing industry donned their running shoes to sprint a combined 42.2km for charity, raising over £100,000 to fund both the future of marketing talent and life-saving cancer research.
Some 71 brands, agencies and media owners took part in the two-hour event on Wednesday (15 September), with each team of four completing a relay of 400m (100m per person) back-to-back until the distance of a marathon was collectively covered. Brands involved included Just Eat, Tesco, Boots, Camelot, British Gas, Mars and NatWest.
The overall ‘Sprintathon’ took one hour, 56 minutes and 7 seconds. The fastest lap was executed by marketing consultancy Ebiquity, with a time of 51.7 seconds.
This year’s Sprintathon was the first hosted by The Marketing Society and marks the return of the event after a year off, as the pandemic prevented marketers from coming together in person last year. The money raised will be split between The Marketing Society, where it will help support marketing’s rising talent, and Cancer Research UK’s Stand Up To Cancer campaign.
“Core to The Marketing Society’s work is the principle that when we as marketers come together we can achieve more than alone, and the Sprintathon results proved that,” says CEO Sophie Devonshire.
“Together we ran our ‘marathon’ in less than two hours and raised a huge amount of money. It was terrific to see so many people in real life, coming together to do something so different and so positive.”
Hosted by Cancer Research UK and Direct Line Group since 2016, this year’s Sprintathon was described as the “de facto welcome back” for the industry after 18 months of Covid-19, lockdowns and working from home. Previous years have collectively raised £500,000 for charity.
Mark Evans, founder of the Sprintathon and managing director of marketing and digital at Direct Line Group, brands The Marketing Society and Stand Up To Cancer “a formidable alliance”, adding that it was a “special day” for the industry to reconnect and do something “truly meaningful”.
“The last 18 months have been a tumble dryer for everyone, so it was fantastic to get UK marketing’s finest together again to smash a two hour marathon and blast through £100,000 of fundraising,” he says.
This year the Sprintathon was sponsored by Google UK, which said it was “proud” to have taken part.
“The atmosphere on the day was incredible as companies and teams across marketing, media and digital came together to raise money for a good cause,” says senior director David Black.