To celebrate trail running, the practice of running off-road, the Japanese sportswear brand ASICS thought up an interesting challenge.
Outrun the Sun was a first-ever and successful attempt to run around the Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the European Union, before the sun goes down. It took place on 21 June 2014, the day of the year with the most daylight.
Participants included top runners from the US, Japan, the UK and Europe including Belgium. The trail runners were divided into two teams who ran against each other on a breath-taking but also physically highly demanding trail.
Identifying and building the story
After studying figures and consulting a trend watcher, we identified trail running as a real, worldwide trend that is also catching on in Belgium.
We started carefully fleshing out our story by consulting more experts. After building our case, we started recruiting journalists from key national media to participate in a press trip to the event. We also sent editorial propositions to other large media and provided them the opportunity to interview Gert Theunis, the Belgian participating runner.
The goal? Coverage for the event in both mainstream and sports-oriented media, and at least one story on national TV.
The result: among the first to meet PR targets
The results were excellent:
- 4 journalists participated in the press trip
- 36 press stories across Belgium and the Netherlands including: TV items in VTM Nieuws, a major Flemish TV news programme, and on Kanaal Z, a double-page article in L’Avenir, a major French-speaking newspaper, coverage on all big newspaper website
- 75% of the stories mentioned ASICS as organiser
- 58% used the provided teaser video or other footage
- 39% linked to the dedicated website
The final proof of success: Belgium and the Netherlands were among the first countries to meet ASICS’ targets for this campaign.