This year, it is expected that 38,000 runners will take part in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon inspires people to lead healthy and balanced lifestyles.

APRIL 8 will mark the 10th year of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia’s involvement in the Kuala Lumpur Marathon.

Every year, except in 2015 when it was cancelled due to the haze, the event has attracted thousands of participants, international and local.

The number of participants grew from 28,000 in 2012 to 35,000 last year. This year, it is expected to attract more than 38,000 runners.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Abrar Anwar believes as the primary sponsor, the marathon presents an opportunity for the bank to inspire people to lead healthy and balanced lifestyles.

Here he explains on the positive impact of sports sponsorship.

WHAT MAKES THE MARATHON SO POPULAR?

No matter how old or young, running is something that resonates well with most people in Malaysia.

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon has also grown to become one of the country’s most prestigious races on foot, attracting thousands of runners from around the world and firmly establishing the country as a destination in the international running calendar.

The popularity of the marathon is proven by how quick running slots were snapped up this year. Registration reached capacity in a record-breaking time of just over 10 hours on Jan 10. A coincidence that is quite apt as 2018 marks the marathon’s 10th anniversary.

WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THE BANK’S SPONSORSHIP?

We have been here for 143 years, the first and oldest bank in Malaysia. Longevity is embedded in our brand promise of being here for good. The marathon has come to exemplify not only longevity, but also the coming together of people from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and ages.

It is also a great opportunity for the bank to promote a healthy workforce by encouraging our employees to come together and create meaningful running experiences with other runners. The essence of the marathon: the drive and commitment in finishing a long-distance race truly fits well with our DNA as a bank.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE SPONSORSHIP ON THE BANK?

The sponsorship provides us with the unique opportunity to connect with our clients, customers and employees through a shared passion for running. We use sports sponsorship to raise the bank’s profile and build greater affinity with new and existing customers.

Our sponsorship of the marathon is highly visible, offering exposure to millions of consumers:

• Our retail banking business leverages on the marathon to promote our products and services. This year, the first 500 customers who applied for a credit card online received complimentary running slots upon card approval and RM100 cashback upon card activation.

• Our sponsorship not only makes commercial sense; it also supports our community initiatives such as fundraising for Seeing is Believing.

We aim to give something back to the communities we operate in. One of the ways we do this is by sponsoring sporting events.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE SPONSORSHIP ON THE PUBLIC?

We also leverage on the marathon to contribute to positive and social growth through Seeing is Believing, a beneficiary of the marathon’s Run for a Reason programme. Funds raised from the programme will be channelled to Seeing is Believing to treat avoidable blindness and visual impairment by improving access to affordable and quality eye care.

Through the marathon, Run for a Reason allows everyday heroes to raise funds for a charity of their choice. While the marathon is largely an individual sport, it’s the support for Run for a Reason from the greater community and donations from family and friends that will effect social change.

Run for a Reason brings down barriers and connects people with a cause greater than themselves through their love for running. By sponsoring the marathon, we make this event accessible to more Malaysians – not just the runners, but corporations and clients too — thereby profiling these charities and giving more people a chance to address a wide range of social issues.


Abrar Anwar at the launch of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018

CAN SPORTS SPONSORSHIP PLAY A ROLE IN DRIVING SOCIAL CHANGE?

Sporting events can be a powerful catalyst for change and its benefits can stretch beyond health and fitness. It has the power to have an impact on an individual’s life but also the larger community, inspiring people to achieve things they didn’t believe were possible.

Sponsors are in a unique position to drive shifts in behaviour while leaving a legacy beyond the event. The value sporting events create for sponsors, individuals, communities and the wider society is beyond monetary value.

Take for example, our sponsorship of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. The power of the marathon to make meaningful, sustainable change is deeply embedded in the reasons we continue to sponsor it. A key element of the sponsorship is in encouraging people from all walks of life to adopt healthier lifestyles through running.

IS THE BANK INVOLVED IN OTHER SPORTING EVENTS?

We are the sponsor for marathons in Singapore, Hong Kong, Stanley (Falkland Islands), Dubai, Nairobi, Jersey and Taipei.

The bank is also a sponsor of the Liverpool Football Club. The partnership allows us access to some of the most successful players in football history, past and present, so we can create a host of unique experiences for our customers around the world.

Our sports sponsorships have proved to be a great success to date, and we are excited about what the future holds.

kasmiah@nst.com.my

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