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A Quest to Make Marathons Greener, Worldwide 

The TCS Sustainability Challenge unearths a big tech idea for eco-friendlier global racing events.

In his famous speech at the first Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco in 2000, Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world.” With an aim to make sporting events around the world, including the TCS New York City Marathon, greener, the TCS Sports Sponsorship Team, in collaboration with TCS Pace Port™ New York, hosted the first-ever TCS New York City Marathon in the summer of 2020. 

The two-week program, which culminated on September 2, 2020, for the TCS Sustainability Challenge Live Event, saw four teams sourced from strategic talent within the TCS Accelerated Leadership Program (TALP) pitch their best technology-based ideas in front of an all-star panel of judges.

At stake was a grand prize and the chance to attend the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. But that’s not all. The winning technology-based idea would move to development, and the team would see its solution come to life.

The participating teams offered their most innovative ideas on how we can leverage technology to reduce, reuse and recycle, in order to help global races and their communities save energy, natural resources and the environment before, during and after big sporting events such as the TCS New York City Marathon. 

'The Big Idea' team, created by TCS associates Steven Clark, Anuja Desai, Adam Parrottino and Arvind Kutty, was chosen as the grand prize winner of the event for its pitch on how to improve races and their mobile apps by leveraging a personalized platform with a high-impact rewards program. 

“I’m so proud that my team’s ‘Big Idea’ won the grand prize, with our pitch to improve races and their mobile apps by combining a personalization platform with a high-impact rewards program to encourage sustainable behavior in runners, spectators and volunteers throughout the year,” said Steven Clark, Strategic Business Manager, TCS Pace Port™ New York.  

He added, “My favorite part was working with TCS employees across different parts of the organization. I look forward to continuing to partner with global race organizers and beginning the development of our solution through TCS’ innovation ecosystem.” 

Highlighting the success of the sustainability challenge, Kevin Phelan, Board Member for the Council for Responsible Sports, said, “From the Council’s Board perspective, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to be part of this amazing challenge, as I am left with such great ideas and enthusiasm." 

He added, "As you say, this is just the start, and the odd time we are all living in for live events means that many of the digital elements the teams explored are even more important. From a Council perspective, I’d love for us to spend some time thinking with you more deeply on how we might move some of those forward.”







…I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to be part of this amazing challenge, as I am left with such great ideas and enthusiasm.” – Kevin Phelan, Board Member, Council for Responsible Sports