"It's a really new and unique way to allow consumers from all over the world to participate in the Tour de France," said Derek Kent, US media relations director for Nike, which is partnering with the Lance Armstrong Foundation for this campaign. Online, the campaign allows fans to upload their own inspirational stories, create public profiles, and track the Tour de France.
The integrated campaign, which is getting PR support from Cohn & Wolfe, focuses on Armstrong and his fight against cancer, sharing digital video shorts from cancer survivors, celebrities, and athletes, including Red Sox pitcher and cancer survivor Jon Lester, Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy), and Evan Handler (Sex and the City).
This campaign is all about the story, Kent said. "In our case, it's an extremely powerful one featuring an iconic athlete, a major sporting event, a great cause, and a call to action." In addition to Armstrong's TV commercials, the digital video shorts are available on Nike.com.
Media outreach is targeting a wide range of outlets, including trade publications, consumer press, sporting publications, and general news outlets.
"The Tour de France is a huge platform and there's a major spotlight on it," he said, "so that obviously helps attract interest."