Mastercard Celebrates “50 Years And Running” At The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon

November 4, 2021

As the Official Payment Services Provider of New York Road Runners, Mastercard today announced the launch of the “50 Years and Running” campaign in support of the TCS New York City Marathon. In partnership with documentary filmmaker and small business champion Nick Heller, otherwise known as @newyorknico, Mastercard is celebrating the businesses that have powered New York City over the past 50 years.

Mastercard continues to leverage the full scope of its business, technology and network of partners and cardholders to help guide and elevate the visibility of small businesses in New York City and around the world.

Through Heller’s authentic New York City voice, the “50 Years and Running” campaign features three iconic small businesses near the marathon route that have overcome obstacles in the face of adversity and provide a priceless impact on their communities.

They include:

  • Grandma’s Place: Dawn Harris-Martin, lovingly referred to as “Grandma Dawn,” opened her iconic children’s toy and bookstore in 1999 to empower children through literacy. Like the Harlem community, Grandma’s Place caters to people of all ethnicities and backgrounds by centering the shop around games and books that benefit, support, educate, and reach children through fun, open-ended learning experiences.

  • Davey’s Ice Cream: Originally conceptualized as a creative outlet for the designer and New York native David Yoo, Davey’s Ice Cream opened in Brooklyn with a focus on quality ingredients sourced from local retailers. Yoo continues to build and diversify his flavors to accommodate the multi-national audience that New York City is known for while still staying true to the homemade origins of his recipes.
  • Bronx Native: Owner Amaurys Grullon provides a cultural hub for creators, artists, and entrepreneurs to showcase Bronx talent with Bronx Natives. Launched in 2016, every piece of merchandise – shirts, hats, or gear – serves as a tool to share issues of poverty and untreated illnesses in the surrounding neighborhoods, with a commitment to changing people’s perception of the Bronx.

“The issues facing small businesses have changed radically in the 50 years since the TCS New York City Marathon began, and the impacts of the pandemic have only amplified and evolved these challenges,” said Heller. “Running a business takes the same dedication, hard work, and grit it takes to run a marathon. We’re proud to pay tribute to the small business owners – from Brooklyn to the Bronx – who exemplify what makes this city one of the greatest in the world.”

To further support the small businesses featured in the campaign, Mastercard will provide 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.

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“The ’50 Years and Running’ Priceless campaign reflects Mastercard’s ongoing commitment to supporting and elevating the small businesses that serve as the backbone of our communities,” said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president, North America Marketing and Communications at Mastercard. “We’re thrilled to be celebrating and showcasing the extraordinary small businesses that keep New York City running and provide them with the digital tools and resources they deserve to thrive.”

Running Towards Innovation

At the TCS New York City Marathon Expo at the Jacob K. Javits Center, which will see approximately 30,000 runners during the week leading up to the race, Mastercard will provide marathon participants and attendees with the opportunity to support small businesses through a one-of-a-kind activation.

At Hall 3B, booth 202, Mastercard will unveil an expo venue where consumers can experience Tap on Phone, Mastercard’s innovative technology that turns an Android smartphone or tablet into an acceptance device. Tap on Phone is powered by Mastercard Foundry’s Cloud Point of Sale (POS) technology and leverages Verizon 5G, enabling small-and-medium-sized businesses to handle transactions in a fast and secure manner.

Additionally, with every purchase of a $0.50 Mastercard tote, consumers will be entered for a chance to win one bib for the 2022 NYC Marathon and an array of prizes to support the New York City small businesses featured in the “50 Years and Running” campaign, including[1]:

  • 10 ice cream socials at Davey’s Ice Cream, valued at $500 each
  • 20 $500 shopping sprees at Grandma’s Place, in-store or online
  • 20 $500 shopping sprees at Bronx Native, in-store or online

“We are excited to have Mastercard as our Official Payment Services Provider for the first time at the TCS New York City Marathon,” said Christine Burke, senior vice president, Strategic Partnerships and Runner Products at New York Road Runners. “Marathon runners will have the opportunity to explore a variety of innovative payment solutions and experiences all while celebrating the small businesses that have powered New York City over the last 50 years.”

The TCS New York City Marathon will take place on November 7. Mastercard will sponsor the Side Street Cheer Zone, located at 4th Avenue & Flatbush at mile eight, the Start Village hospitality space and the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion.


Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential.

Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. For more information go to

Photo credit: Harlem’s “Grandma Dawn,” Screenshot.

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