INEOS 1:59: A stroke of marketing genius
After the lapse of one hour, 59 minutes 40 seconds and two tenths of a second, Eliud Kipchoge crossed the finishing line to seal the greatest fete in marathon history in a masterpiece equitable to man’s first landing on the moon in 1969.
At the same time, ‘little known’ UK based multinational chemicals company INEOS brought full circle its long-held goal of seeing through the once in a lifetime human endeavor.
Essentially, Kipchoge’s immortal triumph will be penned in history alongside the name of INEOS, marking the pivotal stroke of marketing genius by the manufacturer.
In days prior to the endurance race, the name INEOS resonated for the first time across the globe from a virtually unknown position prior to the marathon’s build up.
Having taken on the full sponsor responsibility for the execution of the ground breaking trial from sports apparel giant Nike who organized the only previous sub-two hour marathon in 2017, INEOS had pre-advertised the event as the boundary breaking moment in recent memory.
“No one should tell us that something cannot be done,” said INEOS head of sport John Mayock.
INEOS has had an active role in sports in the past but none of the campaigns which include the acquisition of the Tour de France linked Tour Racing Limited and French Ligue 1 side OGC Nice would topple Saturday’s extravaganza.
The weekend’s fair further involved the mastery of one Sir. Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Group Chairman and founder.
While chairmen typically play a quasi-role in companies, Sir. Ratcliffe has featured right at the center of the gala having personally overseen the execution of the history setting marathon in Vienna, Austria.
Taunted as Britain’s most successful post world-war industrialized, the visionary entrepreneur has not been short of ambition.
Other items on his bucket list include the recreation of Land Rover’s Defender having taken offence in the company’s decision to drop the motoring classic.
Nevertheless, Ratcliffe has not shied away from controversy having openly backed his decision to vote for Britain’s departure from the European custom Union (EU).
According to him, the revamping of UK’s manufacturing holds the key to driving future growth for the English as he counts expansion through services as fragile.
“The United States of Europe will never work,” Ratcliffe told the Sunday Times Magazine in a 2017 interview.
The INEOS holding company, a brain child of Ratcliffe’s child-hood dreams has its foundation in his humble beginnings growing up in council housing in Greater Manchester where he virtually witnessed the disappearance of factories from the former industrial region.
Ratcliffe who turns 66 on Friday holds an estimated net worth of Ksh.1.1 trillion ($10.9 billion)
The INEOS Group meanwhile has an estimated annual turnover of Ksh.6.2 trillion ($60 billion) and holds a consistent stable rating from the Moody’s credit rating agency.
The company which booked a Ksh.136.7 billion (€1.2 billion) net profit in 2018 has lined up investments surpassing Ksh.643 billion ($6.2 billion) in value across the current financial year remains keen on incorporating sport in its social impact delivery.
The INEOS 1:59 challenge will take its place among the world’s top marketing campaigns in history which include Nike’s ‘just do it’ campaign of 1988 and Redbull’s Stratos project of 2012 which saw Austrian sky diver Felix Baumgartner become the first man to do the first-free fall jump in speeds excess of that of sound (1235 km/hr) without the aid of engine power.
In the aftermath, the pair of firms saw their subsequent revenues soar significantly to Ksh.995 billion ($9.2 billion) and Ksh. 166 billion ($1.6 billion) respectively.