Samsung has taken an innovative approach to its marathon title sponsorship in Israel by turning the course into a video game event where runners collect virtual coins throughout which the brand will then donate as real money to charity. The electronics giant is the title sponsor of the Tel Aviv Marathon, which takes place on 24 February, and is upping its involvement around the race with a marketing stunt inspired by iconic platform games such as Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.
As is the case with many marathons, each participant has a timing chip which allows their personal race data to be collected throughout and Samsung is using this technology to add a new dynamic to the race which is expected to attract around 40,000 participants. Placed throughout the course will be stepping pads which represent virtual coins and participants can collect these along route by stepping onto them as the run past. The coin collection is registered in real time via the electronic chip and added to Samsung’s database, where it is turned into real money. At the end of the marathon the sum accumulated is then donated on behalf of the runner to the charity of their choice. The ad for the upcoming marathon (above) was created by Leo Burnett Israel.