Royal Bank of Canada and running - a successful collaboration

This year RBC extended its involvement in running, adding sponsorship of the Royal Parks Half Marathon to its long running support for Race for the Kids for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Over a weekend in early October more than 20,000 people took part in the two events over two days in and around Hyde Park.

This great short film tells the story of that weekend, why RBC are involved in the Active World and what was achieved for RBC and over 530 charitable causes.


In the film Dave Thomas, CEO at RBC Capital Markets Europe, said ‘we’ve been so excited about the running weekend for months. To come out with colleagues, families and friends to do RBC Race for the Kids on the Saturday then come back tomorrow and run the Half with clients and sponsor the Half Marathon is fantastic’.

And Rufus Grantham, Head of European & APAC Research at RBC explained, "this is exactly what we should be doing – it’s great branding for the firm, [there are] loads of people here, loads of engagement from staff”. The weekend's running events hit a few objectives for RBC:

  1. Community support – as well as supporting the events themselves, RBC colleagues, families, friends and clients raised £450,000 for GOSH, and since 2010 £2.5 million has been raised for the Royal Bank of Canada Neurosciences Unit. In total over 20,000 participants raised more than £5.5million for over 530 charitable causes in 2017.
  2. Staff and client engagement – over the weekend more than 1,900 Team RBC'ers took part with 1,600 doing the Race for the Kids and another 300 colleagues and clients from more than 40 companies taking part in The Royal Parks Half.
  3. Brand marketing – both events enabled RBC to raise its brand profile and distinctiveness through participation and promotion locally, nationally and internationally before, during and after the weekend. The onsite branding was flipped overnight to create two highly visible RBC sponsored running events over the weekend.

Desiree Clarke Noble (Director, Head of Brand and Marketing, Europe and APAC) explained that “The RBC Running Weekend came about through our relationship with Limelight Sports.” Limelight Sports have been involved with delivering the Half since creating it with The Royal Parks 10 years ago, and The Race for the Kids since 2015. As Craig Dews (CEO, Limelight Sports) explained, we’ve been looking for the right presenting partner for the Half for some time, and RBC were a superb choice –

"Our experience with RBC has been exceptional, we really believe it’s a true collaboration, and that RBC look at partnership and adding value to the event to create something incredibly special for London”.

The success of both events and the partnerships with RBC were down to the superb relationships that have been established, the truly collaborative nature of those relationships, and the mutual benefits from for all involved.

At Limelight Sports we’re exceptionally proud of having helped create and deliver what Graeme Pearson (Head of Equities, Europe, RBC Capital Markets) described as the “biggest and best running weekend ever”. Like RBC, more companies can reap the multiple benefits from investing in the Active World – engaging communities in a hugely positive activity, celebrating that involvement with staff and clients, and changing brand perception through the sustained and deep engagement with active participants through campaigns and events.

Thank you to Royal Bank of Canada for your support of The Royal Parks Half Marathon and Race for the Kids, and investment in the Active World. For more about RBC visit

Rick Jenner // Director of Strategy and Insight