The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, left a strong statement regarding Access Bank and Diamond Bank, with one of the highlights of the event being multiple recreations of the banks’ Finish Together animation where the Access Bank and Diamond Bank lead runners finished together and give each other a high five.
The marathon, which has had Access Bank as title sponsor since 2016, is one of the bank’s initiatives to showcase Lagos to the world, boost businesses and encourage fitness and healthy fun for individuals and their families. However, this year’s event had a special narrative which was around the ongoing merger of Access Bank and Diamond Bank. Few days to the marathon, the Nigerian online community was agog over an animated video commercial which had both banks running together and finishing stronger.
There were over 100,000 runners, 3,000 volunteers, partners and members of staff, 20 professional athletes who worked together to pull off the biggest marathon in Nigeria this year. Also outstanding was the presence of the GMD/CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and the GMD/CEO of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie throughout the event, encouraging and awarding the participants. This was definitely a pointer to the purpose of the merger between the two banks which is to come together to provide better services and ground-breaking innovations for their teeming 29 million customers spanning 3 continents and 12 countries.
This year’s 42 km category had Sintayehu Legese, an Ethiopian, emerge male winner with a finishing time of 2hrs, 17 minutes and 28 seconds while Dinke Meseret, also an Ethiopian, emerged female winner. In line with the theme of inclusiveness, there was also the 10 km special athlete’s category which had Juliet Okoro as the female winner and Alinco Omojola as the male winner. Several families and groups of friends were also captured participating together in the marathon, especially the 10km family race which traversed routes from Lekki Phase 1 to Eko Atlantic.
As the merger gradually takes effect, Access Bank’s historic strengths in corporate banking and Diamond Bank’s leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking will bring about synergy for the benefit of their customers. Customers of the two banks already enjoy an enhanced range of digital and mobile services, 3,100 ATMs which are free of transaction charges, and 600 branches nationwide.