Campaign case study: Triathlon England inspires people to Tri

During the summer of 2012, Hatch Communications was asked to maximise Triathlon England's activation project to get more people inspired by the Olympic triathlon event.

Active participation: Triathlon Live sites were set up in eight cities encouraging people to try swimming, cycling and running
Active participation: Triathlon Live sites were set up in eight cities encouraging people to try swimming, cycling and running

Campaign: Give it a Tri
Client: Triathlon England
PR team: Hatch Communications
Timescale: June-September 2012
Budget: £10,000

During the summer of 2012, Hatch Communications was asked to maximise Triathlon England's activation project to get more people inspired by the Olympic triathlon event. Triathlon Live sites were built at eight British cities to let people join in and 'Give it a Tri' for themselves, while watching the action on the large BBC screens.

OBJECTIVES

- To maximise awareness of the Triathlon England project and the association

- To liaise with councils at each of the eight cities

- To generate press coverage in each of the eight areas

- To get people to attend the events

- To generate online buzz around the Live sites and the Twitter hashtag #triathlon.

STRATEGY AND PLAN

Triathlon England set up eight Triathlon Live sites around Britain in London, Manchester, Leeds, Coventry, Leicester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Cardiff, which offered participants a full 'triathlon' experience. The sites enabled the public to try swimming, cycling and running on state-of-the-art equipment.

Hatch initially liaised with local authorities to ensure Triathlon Live was mentioned in their Olympics-related comms. It then contacted the BBC, securing a Triathlon England video to be played on its specially set-up big screens two months ahead of the launch.

Tailored press releases were sent out four weeks before the showcases. These included quotes from well-known Olympic triathletes the Brownlee brothers, and were followed up with a call to action press release with one week to go.

Journalists were invited to attend their local site. Photographers were booked to capture proceedings and interviews were set up with local press, radio and TV with Triathlon England's regional development managers.

Following the end of each showcase, tailored press releases were sent out summing up what had taken place, with a quote from a regional development manager and a link to the Triathlon England website.

Hatch co-ordinated social media in the build-up to each event and as they took place. This included creating a social media guide for the development managers on how to tweet key messages from the regional Twitter handles and use the #triathlon hashtag. It also oversaw the national Triathlon England Twitter account.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

The campaign generated 154 pieces of regional and national coverage, including BBC Sport online, The Daily Telegraph and regional papers such as the Manchester Evening News and the Coventry Evening Telegraph. Facebook 'likes' for the Triathlon England page increased from 550 to 1,700. On day of the men's triathlon events #triathlon was trending across the UK.

RESULTS

Total participants exceeded 1,600 across eight venues and 48 local clubs engaged with activity.

SECOND OPINION - JON TIBBS, FOUNDER, JTA ASSOCIATES

This is an outstanding campaign on a relatively low budget, which was opportunistic and timely in the way it leveraged the unique window of 2012.

The face-to-face element of the campaign, with live sites in key metropolitan cities, capitalised on the nationwide desire to be involved with the Games in some shape or form.

The partnership with the BBC enabled high quality production values to come through at no cost. The opportunity for journalists to come and give it a 'tri' is a good way of ensuring more coverage than the standard media relations activity.

Hatch was right to drive the social media element. Customising the stories to the regions was also critical to achieving the widespread coverage, and using regional managers for quotes helped reinforce this.

This would have been an ideal opportunity to run a b2b campaign for possible sponsors. To have lined up potential sponsors, taken them to regional events and shown them how imaginative triathlon can be could have been effective.

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