Launching Reno Running Fest

Getting a new event in shape

The challenge

Race178 hired Estipona Group to help them market a new event and encourage participation. The Reno Running Fest would combine two existing running events (the Reno 10 Miler and Journal Jog) and a new running event (The Reno Mile) into one action-packed weekend. 

Like the nerdy girl who moves to town mid-school year, Reno Running Fest had no name recognition. But Race178 also produces a very popular event called the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey (RTO) with strong name recognition. Most participants and fans of the RTO do not recognize Race178 as the masterminds behind the other running events, presenting us with an opportunity. 


Putting together a robust training plan

The RTO event generates a lot of UGC (user generated content) on social media. However, the super lean Race178 team (Get it? Lean because they’re runners!) had not been able to capitalize on all that engagement because they’re busy putting on a running race for like 2,700 people from around the world. Estipona Group recognized the potential of that strong user engagement to build interest in the new Reno Running Fest event and increase public awareness that Race178 was the owner and producer of the new Reno Running Fest event.

Getting our eyes — and thumbs — on the target audience

During the RTO, Estipona Group monitored the Race178 Facebook and Instagram accounts for tags, mentions and comments. We responded and interacted with users, following them if they fit within our target demographic for the upcoming Reno Running Fest: northern Nevada/California runners.

Leading up to the RTO, we promoted the official hashtag (#rto2018). During the weekend, we monitored that hashtag (plus: #renotahoeodyssey, #rtodyssey, #rtoreno, #rtonevada, #rto), engaging with as much UGC as possible. 

A contest where the client is the big winner 

In order to reach the followers of our engaged social media posters, we developed a contest. People were encouraged to tag @race178 in their RTO photo/video or caption with each tagged post worth one entry into a drawing for $178 cash prizes.

The Monday following race weekend, we did a Facebook Live video to announce the contest winners and encourages sign-ups for Reno Running Fest.

Eye on the finish line

Once the RTO was over, we kept running. We promoted the Reno Running Fest to all RTO runners (and their fans) we had engaged with since they would now be familiar with the Race178 name and therefore more receptive to the Reno Running Fest message.

Our objectives for the RTO race weekend:

  • Increase Race178 followers on Instagram by 25%.
  • Announce the tagging contest winners on Facebook Live and receive 500 views.
  • Increased Instagram followers from 312 to 500 in two-week period — a 38% increase, 152% of goal
  • 800+ public Instagram posts generated using #rto2018
  • Facebook Live contest announcement received 1,084 total views – 216.8% of goal, 65 reactions, 25 comments and 2 shares

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