50 Years & Running


Mastercard wanted to celebrate the launch of its partnership with the New York Road Runners, organizers of the TCS New York City Marathon. This coincided with the 50th running of the largest marathon in the world in 2021.

We created a playful link between two types of runners – the athletes running the race and the local businesses running New York. Both require great stamina and the ability to overcome obstacles to achieve success.

Our “50 Years and Running” campaign champions small businesses along the Marathon route that have kept New York running over the past half century. This reflects Mastercard’s ongoing commitment to supporting and elevating small enterprises.

We collaborated with New York City native, documentary filmmaker and small business champion Nick Heller to produce a three-episode series of 30-second spots. Through Heller’s authentic New York City voice, the “50 Years and Running” campaign features three iconic small businesses that have overcome obstacles in the face of adversity and who make a priceless impact on their communities.

These include Dawn Harris-Martin – affectionately known as Grandma Dawn (owner of iconic children’s toy and bookstore Grandma’s Place in Harlem), Amaruys Grullon (owner of Bronx Native, a cultural hub for creators, artists, and entrepreneurs in the Bronx), and David Yoo (owner of Davey’s Ice Cream in Brooklyn).

In each spot, the owners share the joys of running a small business, the important impact their business has on the local community and city of New York, and how Mastercard has helped them continue to grow.

To further support the small businesses featured in the campaign, Mastercard provided each with a Digital Doors™ toolkit comprised of exclusive offerings and resources to help maximize their digital presence, protect their online operations, and succeed in the new normal. These efforts build on Mastercard’s sustained emphasis on financial inclusion, including the company’s pledge to bring 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

The ad campaign went live on-air, during and surrounding television coverage of the New York City Marathon, as well as online via Mastercard’s digital and social platforms leading up to and after the event.