Evening Echo scores successful grocery partnership around annual women’s marathon

By Emma Jane O’Keeffe

The Echo (formerly the Evening Echo)

Cork, Ireland

By Lisa Coughlan

The Echo (formerly the Evening Echo)

Cork, Ireland

The Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon has raised millions for charity since it began more than 36 years ago. When seeking an associate sponsor with brand values in line our event, we identified Tesco as a partner that would strengthen the event and improve the participant experience.

Our main objectives in securing a new brand partner were to:

  • Enhance the profile of the event.
  • Secure a new revenue stream to boost overall revenue.
  • Enhance the experience for our audience.
  • Harness a relationship with a brand that had not previously engaged with us.

We pitched it to Tesco as an opportunity for them to reach a relevant target market and join a community initiative that was the perfect for the brand. 

Participants gear up for the annual Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon. A partnership with Tesco infused the most recent race with new energy.
Participants gear up for the annual Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon. A partnership with Tesco infused the most recent race with new energy.

Tesco wanted to increase brand affinity in the key region of Cork, which would result in stronger purchase intent. The company wants the consumer to believe in Tesco as the supermarket for them that supports them in everything it does — reinforcing its tagline: “Every little helps.”

Partnering with the Evening Echo Women’s Mini Marathon gave Tesco the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the community and the promotion of health and wellness among a key demographic. With 11 stores in and around the greater Cork area, Tesco was well placed supporting the women of Cork as it prepared for the event. The company was looking to build strong brand association and drive race participants to Tesco stores to purchase everything they need to prepare for the event, from fitness gear to food.

The Evening Echo used the partnership to drive footfall to Tesco stores in the city and suburbs by having race number collection points. A positive result we had not anticipated was the engagement from Tesco staff, with hundreds of staff members taking part. This created positive internal and external communication opportunities for the brand and its employees. It also provided them with the opportunity to raise money for their chosen charity, Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

The partnership created a positive public relations opportunity that connected the Tesco brand with an established, well-loved event that benefited the community and charities, including launch picture and editorial opportunities that showed Tesco’s support for its chosen charity.

The “Get Race Ready Recipe” series was a way of aligning the Tesco brand with the event in a tangible way. It included recommendations for what race participants should eat and ingredients to buy in Tesco. This series of bespoke recipes appeared in our female-focused print magazines and online, and was support by social media.

Tesco sponsored the pre- and post-race supplements. The pre-race supplement prepared people to get race ready and the post-race supplement provided race results. Trade posters in Tesco stores helped to further align the brand with the event to drive sales of these dedicated supplements.

On the day before the event, Tesco had a wrap of the Evening Echo. This allowed Tesco to highlight its corporate social responsibility initiatives that have helped improve society in the Cork area. Activation opportunities on the day included the Tesco Finest Airstream to provide sampling and revenue opportunities from food sales.

The campaign helped to build the number of participants on the day of the event and had a positive impact on the ambience and community spirit. People proactively shared and tagged images of themselves, parents, family members, and friends.

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