TCS ups the ante on global sporting events

Debangana Ghosh Mumbai | Updated on July 22, 2021

After marathon deals, IT services firm partners Dutch Open golf tournament

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), on Thursday, announced that it is partnering with European golf event, Dutch Open, to enhance participant and spectator experience, leveraging on its digital technologies.

The update comes a day after TCS renewed its title sponsorship with TCS New York Marathon. The global IT major has also been sponsoring TCS London Marathon and TCS Amsterdam Marathon. The company, on Wednesday, said that it plans to invest $30-40 million annually into global running sponsorships and related community programming from 2022 to 2029.

Martijn van der Meulen, Managing Partner, TIG Sports, said: “In title sponsorships of various international marathons, TCS has shown that its technological knowledge can serve to enrich the experience of both the participants and spectators of major sports events.

“A great example of this is how TCS designed the digital transformation of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon with a ‘virtual run’ during last year’s lockdown. We welcome TCS’ experience, technological know-how and look forward to making the Dutch Open even more successful together.”

Sandip Agarwal, Executive Director, Institutional Equities, Edelweiss Securities, told BusinessLine: “Technology services are normally B2B businesses, and top 50 clients contribute most of the revenues. The best way to create brand awareness is by being present in places where your clients are found, such as premium airports, marathon events, wimbledon, FIFA events etc. TCS is doing exactly what needs to be done.”

“Moreover, TCS has been doing it since a decade now and they have reaped huge benefits in terms of awareness, generating business and attracting talent through these sponsorship and events. We believe TCS is taking Accenture head on, or may have even surpassed it in occupying the premium spots in such key global events.”

Karthik Srinivasan, independent communications consultant, pointed out that peers like IBM, too, have been gaining more than just branding from similar partnerships.

“More than simply being a partner, if the technology majors are also doing something behind the scenes for the events, the promotional visibility could be more contextual and purposeful for the business. For instance, IBM’s long-standing tie-up with wimbledon is not merely for brand presence, but using IBM technologies to improve fan experience using technology. In fact, IBM bills itself as wimbledon’s technology partner and earns the visibility it gains. The work done lends itself to excellent and engaging story-telling possibilities for IBM among technology decision-makers, the difference is that IBM can tell them, ‘Imagine – if we can do this to a hugely-watched game like tennis, imagine what we can do to your business’,” Srinivasan told BusinessLine.

“Global sporting events are the B2B equivalent of tent-pole Hollywood movies that attract B2C companies by the drove in every market they are released in. B2C companies engage in marketing partnerships with those films because they reach large swathes of end audiences who are common to both – those consumer products and films. Similarly, for B2B companies, global sporting events present a non-frivolous (that is, not entertainment-oriented) audience magnet around the world that watches them for the best display of human endurance, power, persistence and intelligence. These are adjectives that help explain technological prowess too,” Srinivasan added.

Published on July 22, 2021

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