Oxford half, mass participation, gantry, event branding

VIRGIN SPORT DOMINATE 2019 RUNNING SCENE

Throughout 2019, CSM Live have helped deliver three major events for Virgin Sport – the Hackney Festival of Fitness, the London 10k and the Oxford Half Marathon. These involved working with, and producing items for key sponsors: Nike, Asics, One Water, Just Water, NuuN, PowerBar, Foreo, Michelob Ultra, Zipcar, KIND, CNBC & Tenzing.

Each event has grown dramatically in the last few years. The Hackney run started with 11,500 entries in 2017, a number that doubled this year with a turnout of 17,599 runners. Following the introduction of their new headline sponsor, Nike, we helped with the entire rebrand of the event, including the removal of most of the Virgin branding. The popularity of the run (there was a 30,000 strong attendance of this year) saw it make the 2019 list of the World’s top half marathons.

Like the Hackney Half, the London 10k started out in 2017 as a new event for the growing Virgin Sport company, and this year a new sponsor – ASICS – meant an entire rebrand and redesign of items, which CSM live brought to life. This included a new bespoke twin tower start and finish line.

Often hailed as “one of the best courses in the UK” the Oxford Half Marathon kept its well-established format this year. However, we changed up the start and finish line, with the introduction of our new 3D gantries, which has received amazing feedback, praising our ability to deliver a seamless, professional-looking sport event. We also expanded the village at the run, to give runners and supporters a more engaging, interactive experience.

One of the main draws of working with Virgin Sport is their environmental consciousness, something we at CSM Live are championing this year both inside and outside our work. We’ve learned so much on this issue and how big businesses can commit to making a difference through our work with environmentalist Kiko Matthews, and our podcast with Natalie Fee.

For this reason, we were so excited about Virgin Sport’s green initiatives, including their partnership with Just Water, who sponsored all the water distribution at events. By removing all the single-use plastics from course this year, over 500,000 water bottles were eliminated.

Thanks to the huge success of our work at this year’s events, talks are already in process on how we can improve and expand for next year. With phase two of the rebrand happening for Hackney, and new products to offer, we hope to continue to work with Virgin Sport on all their current events and any others they add to their repertoire in the future.