When Eliud Kipchoge crossed the finish line of the London Marathon on Sunday, April 26, 2015, he surprised everyone by beating favorites Kipsang and Kimetto to the title. But it wasn't just the athletes who were going for gold, many brands (big and small) spent a lot of money to become official sponsors of the London Marathon and all of them took to social media to try to boost their sponsorships. Synthesio decided to take a look at the social data surrounding the marathon sponsors to help answer the question of who really won the London Marathon?
Official sponsors, Virgin Money, have become experts in encouraging the nation to dig deep in a bid to raise £250 million over five years, and their social efforts are nothing to be sniffed at. Their campaign hashtag #extramile was used over 10,000 times - double that of one of two official marathon hashtags: #vmlm2015.
This is why it's not surprising that Virgin Money achieved a 79% share of voice when compared to the other corporate sponsors on the day, but that doesn't mean that these other sponsors should be left without a medal. So lets take a look at who won the silver and bronze, as well as a few honorable mentions:
Adidas - A clever use of the #boost and #boostlondon hashtag, which touched on race numbers and billboards throughout the capital, helped garner over 2,500 mentions in the week leading up to the event. This not only gave much needed words of encouragement, but also raised awareness for the sports brands' range of trainers. This was an excellent job and garnered Adidas a very shiny silver medal.
Buxton Water - Changing the name of the Canada Water tube station to Buxton Water for the day was a fantastic and perhaps even genius marketing move, and it certainly deserves a round of applause! Their #withyoualltheway campaign achieved 1,221 mentions, although it is worth noting that the majority of the mentions came from the brand itself. This was a very solid bronze medal winning campaign!
Abbott - If you didn't know who these guys were before Sunday, you sure do now (especially if you watched the BBC for four hours straight, where you couldn't miss these guys). However, their World Marathon Majors series didn't make a dent in the share of voice, but their #26togo drive did at least put them on the Twitter map with 700 mentions.
Lucozade - It's thirsty work running a marathon but luckily energy drink Lucozade were on hand to help #ruleyourrun. The hashtag was used over 400 times.
Holiday Inn - I'd have to classify this as a "runner up." Holiday Inn, scored a lower 88 mentions with #restandrun. Maybe by the time you've finished a marathon and got back to your hotel room you are too tired to even tweet, or perhaps people weren't as interested to hear about how well these marathoners slept before and after the race. Whatever it was, this hashtag campaign had tough time getting out of the starting gate. However, on the bright side for the hotel chain, the fact that their hotels were booked up across London, shows that while the chain's hashtag didn't perform as well as expected, the hotel itself was still able to succeed doing what they do best, getting customers into their rooms and beds.
It is worth noting that while sponsors were spending money on the event, it was the charities receiving the money that really excelled on social media. Of the twelve charities Synthesio monitored, Macmillan Cancer Support were the ones who stormed ahead with 44.1% of the conversation.