• Standard Life is proud to become the new headline partner of Cancer Research UK's Race for Life
  • Separately, a new Standard Life TV ad will take those approaching retirement on a nostalgia trip as they revisit the offices of their past and consider whether now is the time to consolidate their pensions
  • The activity represents the most significant investment in the brand since Standard Life became part of Phoenix Group


Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, the UK's largest long-term savings and retirement business, has been selected as the new headline partner for Cancer Research UK's flagship fundraising series, Race for Life.


The sponsorship will start in 2023 and initially span three years. As headline sponsor, Standard Life will feature across Race for Life's major marketing campaign, which includes television and radio. Alongside this, Standard Life will be visible at all Race for Life events, engaging with communities across the UK.

More than 10m people have taken part in Race for Life since the events began in 1994, collectively raising over £920m. The sponsorship will cover both the 30th year of Race for Life as well as Standard Life's 200th anniversary and the activity will go towards helping Race for Life continue to raise money for cutting-edge research into more than 200 types of cancer.

One year on from Phoenix Group's acquisition of the Standard Life brand

Combined with the new TV ad, the activity represents the most significant investment in Standard Life since the brand was acquired by Phoenix Group in 2021 when it set out its intention to increase its presence in a number of key markets including workplace pensions, bulk purchase annuities, lifetime mortgages and retail savings.

Four decades of the office lovingly brought to life in a new advert encouraging people to revisit their workplace pensions

Launching this weekend, Standard Life will take viewers on a trip down memory lane in a major new TV ad. The advert sees fictional character Craig Phillips, a fifty-three-year-old IT consultant from St. Albans walking through his airy modern office space and through a door which takes him back to the 1980s and the start of his career. As the story unfolds, Craig sees four decades of the office brought to life, complete with the references to the fashion, culture and technology of the day. Moving from filing cabinets to floppy disk, to weighty mobiles, the advert shows how working life has progressed and encourages viewers to consider the pensions they've accumulated over the years. It ends with Standard Life's highly rated app as a means of consolidating their savings.

Directed by the acclaimed Stephen Pipe, the advert will initially run until the end of November. It will be supported by associated radio, digital, social and outdoor activity and can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/761376973/5ef1c9c76e

The final element of the renewed brand activity involves a six month sponsorship of The Sunday Times' Fame and Fortune column. This long-standing feature of the Money section involves an interview with a well-known figure covering their relationship with money and attitudes to saving. Standard Life will be the first ever brand to have a logo accreditation on the page which will be accompanied by regularly updated advertising creative.

Sangita Chawla, Chief Marketing Officer at Standard Life commented, "Standard Life is incredibly proud to have been selected as the lead sponsor of Cancer Research UK's Race for Life which is one of the country's best known and much-loved charity event series. With cancer affecting one in two people, the sponsorship provides us with a chance to encourage participation in Race for Life events up and down the country to raise money for vital research.

"The sponsorship comes as we are stepping up our investment in the iconic Standard Life brand and our new advert represents a major milestone in our plans. It also underpins our commitment to ensuring we are relevant for our customers in this difficult economic environment and recognises the important role pensions can play in helping people to prepare for the future.

"This is also why our advert talks to our brand values of representing typical savers, our heritage in workplace pensions and our focus on providing digital customer experiences."

Andy Curran, Chief Executive of Standard Life commented: "The activity we've unveiled today represents a new chapter in the long history of the Standard Life brand and reflects our commitment to ensuring we build on the high levels of awareness and the brand is visible and relevant in the years to come. Since Standard Life became part of Phoenix Group we've been investing in the support and propositions available to customers and are now seeing considerable success in the workplace and bulk purchase annuity markets in particular. The investment in the brand will play an important role as we look to build on this success and expand our presence in customer facing markets such as retail savings."

Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell said:

"We're delighted to welcome Standard Life as the new headline partner for Race for Life. Almost three decades since it began, Race for Life is still one of the most popular fundraising event series in the UK, giving people the opportunity to celebrate and remember loved ones affected by cancer and raise money for pioneering research.

"Working together on this new partnership with Standard Life, we can continue the incredible success of Race for Life and raise more money to help fund life-saving research. Sadly 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime* but thanks to brilliant partnerships like these, we can continue our vital work to bring about a world where everybody can lead longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer."


* Ahmad A.S., Ormiston-Smith N. & Sasieni P.D. (2015). Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: comparison of risk for those born from 1930 to 1960., British Journal of Cancer.


Media Enquiries 

For further information, photos, video content or interviews for Standard Life, please contact
Jonathan_henderson@standardlife.com (07716090707) or Samantha_griffith@standardlife.com (07752 465345)

For more information on Race for Life please contact Joshua Gill on 020 3469 6199 or joshua.gill@cancer.org.uk

Notes to editors:

About Standard Life

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples' life savings for nearly 200 years
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers' pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We're proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people's needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We're proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up and may be worth less than originally invested.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research, influence and information.
  • Cancer Research UK's pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK wants to accelerate progress and see 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into the prevention and treatment of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK is working towards a world where people can live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.
  • For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on X and Facebook.

About Race for Life

  • Race for Life raises money for Cancer Research UK's life-saving work into all 200 types of cancer

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