Google Lunar XPRIZE taps Finn Partners

PLAYA VISTA, CA: Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million space exploration competition, has picked Finn Partners as its PR AOR after a review. The competition aims to put a privately funded machine on the moon in less than three years.

PLAYA VISTA, CA: Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million space exploration competition, has picked Finn Partners as its PR AOR after a review.

Four agencies submitted proposals for the RFP, said Eric Desatnik, director of PR for Google Lunar XPRIZE, via email. He did not disclose additional information about the review.

Twenty-three teams from around the world are competing to successfully land a robot on the moon that can move at least 500 meters and send images and video to Earth by 2015. The first team to do so will receive $20 million, the second will win a $5 million prize, while other teams are eligible for $1 million awards for completing other tasks.

Prior to hiring Finn Partners at the beginning of this month, the competition handled communications internally with support from a “European outreach coordinator” based in the UK, Desatnik said. Finn Partners is under contract for one year. Budget information was not disclosed.

Finn Partners' Los Angeles office is leading account work. The firm has a core team of five staffers on the account, with the option of bringing on more team members as needed throughout the year, said Brenda Lynch, senior partner at the firm.

The agency is charged with raising awareness of the competition through national press engagement and events, as well as lifestyle, science, and education media outreach. XPRIZE is handling social media in-house.

Lynch said another goal is to incentivize private businesses to fund space travel instead of the federal government, which has supported space exploration since its inception.

“Our goal is to make the first lunar landing by a robot by private enterprise national news and part of the national discussion,” she explained. “We're really excited about what XPRIZE is doing because we haven't been back to the moon since the 1970s.”

In addition to engaging entrepreneurs and engineers, Google Lunar XPRIZE wants to inspire younger generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, or math, said Desatnik, via email.

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