Travel: Olympian makes a splash at SeaWorld

Campaign Tom Daley at SeaWorld Client Busch Entertainment Corporation PR team Freerange Timescale April-October 2008 Budget c. £10,000

Daley: at SeaWorld
Daley: at SeaWorld

Florida is a favoured holiday destination for Brits, with hundreds of attractions vying for space in the travel pages. Busch Entertainment Corporation owns four theme parks in Florida – SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica and Discovery Cove.

Objectives

To generate coverage for SeaWorld outside of the travel pages

To give US-based attractions a British relevance.

Strategy

Freerange identified 14-year-old Olympic high-dive hopeful Tom Daley as a potential ambassador for SeaWorld in February 2008, prior to the Beijing Olympic Games. Daley was invited to dive with dolphins in a specially created show, with a visit scheduled for October half-term.

The media strategy used a mix of exc­lusives and photo calls, supported by online forums and fansites to drive pre-show buzz.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated 95 items of coverage, across TV, national and regional print, consumer and online.
Significant buzz was crea­ted via fansites and blogs, ill­ustrated by more than 1,700 res­ults on Google for the event.

Results

More than 3,000 people att­ended Daley’s show, with the Olympian also signing 300 autographs.

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