Yesterday, I had an opportunity to attend the launch event of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2009. The event was held at Le Meridien Hotel and as expected, it was full of people from the media, people from marketing and PR, the key stakeholders in the event, and the various sponsors.
Photo: Artists from Drum Cafe (courtesy Times of India online edition)
The event had a real glitzy feel to it. They started off with a video of moments from the last year’s event, and recorded messages from Allan Border and Cathy Freeman, who are the ambassadors for this year’s event. Then there were the mandatory speeches from the key partners. Next, it was an almost hour-long performance from artists from a group called Drum Cafe from South Africa, which was fantastic. In fact, each attendee had a drum besides their chair, and we were all drumming along with the troupe, and it did get really wild! These guys were there at the Beijing Olympics too for performing at the Bird’s Nest.
Finally, they had a formal ‘First registration‘ ceremony, where key persons from the event partners registered for the event by signing a registration form. As for me, well, I registered much earlier than any one of them 🙂 in the early hours of August 26th itself, even though officially, registrations start August 28th. After that, it was the of-course time for the cocktails and a nice dinner (well, the media folks were really getting itchy for that even before it started, no wonder they love such events).
Interestingly, they were promoting this marathon as the 2nd Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, instead of the 5th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, since Airtel only came in last year, though the event is now 5 years old. I would probably like 5th more, since the event is the same, the organizers Procam are the same, its only the title sponsor which has changed, and for me, this is the 5th Delhi Half Marathon.