Almost half of the team slots for The Marketing Society’s ‘Sprintathon’ event have been filled by brands, agencies and media owners hoping to prove their athletic prowess while raising money for cancer research.
Some 38 teams have signed up so far, including groups from Boots, Direct Line, Eve Sleep, Mars and NatWest.
Hosted in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Direct Line Group since 2016, the annual mass participation event has been described as a “mash-up” of the 60s’ British game show ‘It’s a Knockout’, the Olympics and a school sports day. It has been called the “de facto welcome back” for the industry after a year of Covid-19, lockdowns and working from home.
During the two-hour event, 105 teams of four will each complete a relay of 400m (100m per person) back-to-back until they collectively cover 42.2km, the distance of a marathon. Previous years have collectively raised £500,000 for charity.
“The Sprintathon is a great way to reunite the whole marketing industry to fight cancer while having fun at the same time,” says the global CMO of Mars-owned brand Kind, Thomas Delabriere. “After all these months of lockdown, getting back together will reignite our collective energy… and it is for a good cause.”
There will also be a competitive element to the event, with each team competing against one another for the fastest lap.
NatWest’s new CMO, Margaret Jobling, says the event is a “brilliant opportunity” for the marketing industry to come together for a “fantastic cause”.
“We are so excited to be taking part,” she adds. “Connecting with peers from across the industry and being able to see my team in person after starting the job remotely is really something to look forward to. And getting a little bit competitive of course.”
Meanwhile, Bauer Media CEO Paul Keenan says the radio giant is “in it to win it”, as it competes against rival broadcaster Global for the fastest lap time in the UK marketing sector.
“We have picked the team, the training has started, our running shoes are ready and we are in it to win it,” he says.
This year’s Sprintathon is the first hosted by The Marketing Society and marks the return of the event after a year off, as the Covid-19 pandemic prevented marketers from coming together in person in 2020.
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, where it will fund life-saving research.
The Sprintathon will take place on Wednesday, 15 September at Battersea Park running track. The cost to enter a team is £1,000 plus VAT – sign up now via the Marketing Society website.The Marketing Society rallies industry to raise money for cancer with ‘Sprintathon’
The 38 brands, agencies and media owners already signed up include:
- Advertising Association
- All Independent Agencies
- Bauer Radio
- Channel 4
- Digital Cinema Group
- Direct Line Group
- England Rugby
- Eve Sleep
- Global Media
- Mail Metro Media
- Marketing Lounge Partnership
- Marketing Week
- MRM McCann
- Publicis Media – Starcom
- Publicis Media – Zenith
- Publicis Media – Spark Foundry
- Saatchi & Saatchi
- School of Marketing
- Sky Media