2020 Shortlist

Marathon City: Sprint and Spin to Win

Entrant Company: Tata Consultancy Services

Brand: New York Road Runners

  • Best Use of Technology
TCS NY Marathon Virtual Reality

About this Entry

While participating in a marathon is not possible for everyone, TCS Interactive made the excitement, energy and emotion of the TCS New York City Marathon universal with Sprint to Win and Spin to Win gaming experiences.

How does entry represent "Excellence in Engagement"?

True engagement is achieved through inclusivity of shared experiences.

Through use of cutting-edge technology and experiential design, the games are exhilarating for players of any age or physical ability. Players loved the diverse library of 3D avatars of both runners and wheelers. The stylized “low-poly” designs sparked a retro appeal for older players and a cool throwback for younger ones. The experience of both games was broadcast on large TVs, allowing for a maximum number of spectators to get caught up in the excitement and cheer on the players.

Based on the popularity of these games, inclusivity will be a key component to fitness gaming experiences developed in the future.

Objective: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, is title and/or technology sponsor of 13 marquee running races around the world, including the TCS New York City Marathon. TCS started sponsoring running events to promote better lifestyle practices across its employees, clients and communities where it operates, and using them as platforms for showcasing cutting-edge digital technologies.

As Title and Technology Sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon, TCS collaborates with the race organizer, New York Road Runners (NYRR), to make it the most technologically advanced race in the world.

NYRR engaged with TCS Interactive, an award-winning iconic design and digital experiences group within TCS, to create a fitness-oriented experience for fans at the TCS NYC Marathon Expo and other NYRR events and expos throughout the year. It needed to create lasting experiences that captured the excitement and emotion of running the TCS NYC Marathon, while also allowing for high throughput. It also needed to be designed for all fans of all ages and physical abilities.

In short, an experience that will move you.

Strategy & Execution: TCS Interactive's team of hardware, software, 3D, design thinking and UX/UI experts created two immersive games – Marathon City: Sprint to Win and Spin to Win. Both simulate racing the last 100m of the iconic TCS NYC Marathon and were featured attractions at the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon Expo.

Inclusivity is the cornerstone to Sprint to Win’s design, as it’s the first-ever 2-player 3D game that’s designed for runners, non-athletes and wheelers of all ages and abilities to compete against one another. Players choose an avatar and either run in place on sensor-equipped mats or wheel in place on a trainer, which was carefully calibrated to ensure a fair and even race. The faster a player runs or wheels, the faster their avatar goes to the finish line.

Based on Sprint to Win’s popularity 2018, TCS Interactive created Spin to Win: VR Experience. Building empathy and awareness for wheelchair racing, the VR activation simulates the experience of being a wheelchair athlete. Players sit in a stationary racing wheelchair on a trainer and put on a VR headset. When the wheels are pushed forward, the player's propelled through the VR course and race a computer-generated wheelchair athlete to the finish line.

Results: Both gaming experiences garnered significant quantitative and qualitative results including:

Marathon City: Sprint to Win

  • 93% user satisfaction rating
  • 35% increase of TCS NYC Marathon Expo participants in 2019 vs. 2018
  • Received a 2019 Best-of-the-Best Red Dot Award
  • TCS partner, Adobe, gave TCS Interactive a free Adobe Summit booth to display the game
  • Featured at the London Marathon, the NYC Half marathon, Tech Innovation Day at Lloyd's and TCS Summit North America, where it generated numerous new business leads
  • Generated significant media coverage in leading outlets including VentureBeat, CNET and SportTechie

Spin to Win: VR Experience

  • On a scale of 1-5 where 1 was not at all enjoyable and 5 was very enjoyable, players gave the game an average score of 4.78.
  • Sparked social media posts from Olympic wheelchair athletes and Marathon Winners, Daniel Romanchuk and Tatyana McFadden
  • Daniel Romanchuk said the was, “truly amazing!”

Based on the games’ overwhelming reception, TCS Interactive has created new offerings around accessibility and inclusive design. The games provide great proof points, highlighting TCS Interactive’s creativity and innovative use of cutting-edge tech to spark engagement.


  • Tata Consultancy Services, New York Road Runners, TCS New York City Marathon