NYC Marathon Case Study


The 2014 TCS NYC Marathon was an interactive digital experience that encouraged runners and spectators from around the globe to interact with race day stats and track their favorite runners during the world's biggest and most popular marathon.


The opportunity


In 2013, ING was the sponsor and sponsored an app to track runners with limited information. Based on user data, It was clear that Spectators were most interested in spending time tracking their friends’ and family’s location during the marathon race, driving goals for future apps. 

In 2014, the NYC Marathon gained a new title sponsor: TCS. With this major name and brand change, there was an opportunity to re-imagine the marathon’s mobile app. 



Creating an engaging experience was essential to engage with Runners and Spectators during race week, with the mobile app being the centerpiece of the work.


The Approach

I kicked off the project by applying my design process to the work ahead.


Design process


User Research


I began by reviewing the 2013 ING mobile app data to understand where users were spending their time or dropping out of the experience.

To dig further into the details and collect some qualitative data, I led user interviews with Runners and Spectators where it became clear that Spectators were most interested in tracking their friends’ and family’s location during the Marathon race.


Product Design Iterations & User Experience

By applying my research learnings, I created my concept: 
put Runners at the center of the experience and provide contextual
messaging at different parts of Race Week. 

In parallel, I created designs for the website to feature tracking information
that also encouraged visitors to download and access the app to increase engagement.

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Interactive social wall & leaderboards


The Build


With an overseas development team, it was essential for me to produce detailed design specifications on style and functionality for key screens of the app. 

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The Results

The 2014 TCS NYC Marathon was a success, meeting its app download goal to reach 250K downloads over marathon week. 

A key learning for the project team was that adding Google Analytics to the app did not distract from the development schedule and the progress timeline was met.


"App was very responsive to refreshing race data...I like seeing this app get better every year."

- ioS app store user