The Marketing Society’s ‘Sprintathon’ returns to raise money for cancer research

Last year’s event raised over £100k for charity, with teams from brands including Just Eat, Tesco, Boots, Camelot, British Gas, Mars and NatWest.

Image: Sprintathon 2021. Source: The Marketing Society

The Marketing Society has once again joined forces with Cancer Research UK’s Stand Up to Cancer campaign to launch the marketing industry’s annual ‘Sprintathon’ event.

Brands, agencies and media owners are all invited to put a team forward for the two-hour charity event, in which 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.

All raised funds will be split between Stand Up To Cancer, where they will be used to fund cancer research, and The Marketing Society, where they will be used to support future marketing talent.

Last year, 71 teams from brands including Just Eat, Tesco, Boots, Camelot, British Gas, Mars and NatWest raised more than £100,000 in total.

There is also a competitive element to the event as each team competes for the fastest lap, which last year was claimed by marketing consultancy Ebiquity with a time of 51.7 seconds.

The annual mass participation event has been hosted in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Direct Line Group since 2016. Last year was the first hosted by The Marketing Society.

The 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. Altogether, the Sprintathon has raised over £600,000 for charity since launch.

Already nine teams have registered to take part in this year’s event, including Direct Line Group, ISBA, Goodstuff, Global Media, Mediacom, MRM and Mail Metro Media. A number of others have been confirmed in principle.

“In 2021 the marketing industry came together to smash a two hour marathon and raise over £100,000,” says Mark Evans, founder of the Sprintathon and managing director of marketing and digital at Direct Line Group.

According to Evans, one of his top highlights in a “somewhat pandemic-scuppered 2021” was to see the team from digital agency Digitas run their lap in “full unicorn regalia”.

“I’m super-excited that we’re getting back on the track again to go even faster and raise much needed funds for Stand Up To Cancer. So please get your team involved for the most fun, inclusive and rewarding marathon that you will ever be a part of,” he says.

The event will take place on 7 June at Battersea Park Millennium Arena. The cost to enter a team is £1,000 plus VAT. Sign up now via the Marketing Society website.

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