CAMPAIGN: Adventurer paddles his way into history books

Thirteen years ago, adventurers Jason Lewis and Steve Smith sought to ­become the first people to circumnavigate the world using only human-powered transport, including bicycle, kayak and pedal boat. Read on...

CAMPAIGN: Adventurer paddles his way into history books

Campaign Jason Lewis Expedition 360
Client Jason Lewis
PR Team Alex Foley & Associates
Timescale September-October 2007
Budget £2,000

When Smith pulled out in 1999, Lewis carried on alone. When he reached the ­final stage – across Europe to England – he called in Alex ­Foley & Associates.

To raise awareness of the final stage of Lewis’s endeavour and promote him as an adventure expert.

Strategy and plan
A key focus of activity was to create­ media interest in Lewis’s return to London via pedal boat up the Thames on 6 October. Lewis and Smith had ­attracted publicity when they set off in 1994, but the story was off the UK media’s radar by the time Lewis was due to return.

After Lewis’s imminent arrival was flagged up through a press release, ‘the phone seemed to never stop ­ringing’, says Alex Foley. Journalists were invited to the finish line at Greenwich, where around 50 interviewed Lewis. A press conference at the Royal Geographical Society was held on 10 October.

Measurement and evaluation
The event was covered by most UK ­national newspapers, including The ­Daily Telegraph, Daily ­Mirror and The Guardian, as well as ­regional press. Broadcast coverage included CNN, Sky and BBC. Foreign media also picked up the story, with articles appearing in Spain’s El Mundo and Australia’s The Sydney Morning Herald. In the US, there was coverage on Fox TV and articles appeared in the The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times, which carried a two-page feature.

Following global media coverage, Lewis is now in demand from event and public speaking organisers for appearances. This has included a ­request from the Earls Court Boat Show in December and The Times ‘Destination’ travel and holiday shows next year. He has ­also been asked to ­appear on US TV on NBC’s The ­Tonight Show with Jay Leno and ABC’s Good Morning America.

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