Social Media and the Warrior Dash… a Sponsorship Flashpoint.


More from Brad

I recently competed in the Warrior Dash, presented by Red Frog Events, with a group of my friends. Three miles of running up muddied hills, swimming through murky ponds, crawling under barbed-wire on your hands and knees over-top gravel and more mud. Sound like fun? Feel like a warrior? Maybe, just feel like a shower?

The race was held in June, but my friends and I had to secure our spots in October, even then we were late to sign up. All the late-morning and early afternoon start times for Saturday had already been filled. We took the next available at 5:00 p.m. Popularity rose quickly and Red Frog  responded, adding Sunday race slots as well. Judging from numbering of the on-line results, I would place the total participants at about 10,000 each day!

The rate at which word about the Dash spread was astounding. The pace was quicker than typical social networking, it was almost viral. This viral networking had spread to most of my “friends-list” before I had a chance to put word out. Red Frog launched an amazing campaign across facebook and Twitter, taking advantage of excitable and young activism of participants, using savvy and energetic methods.

At the Dash, the event was more about the social and immersive  experience of the participants and their friends, more than actually running the race. Everywhere, people were snapping photos and posting with smartphones, texting and tweeting. Every person I talked to after the race, both on-line and in person, had pictures posted within the next day to their facebook page. Most people I talked to (including myself) posted a mud-covered picture as their profile.

Think of the product sponsorship possibilities and the amount of immediate exposure, through personal connections developing within these immersive experiences. Throughout the day I saw no sponsor tags, no QR codes, no banners. There was no brand presence,  only a hippie passing out wrist-bands with a website on it.

Dashes are going on around the country…virtually untapped opportunities for immersive experiences and lasting connections.

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