cochin

ONE DOES NOT NEED A CLIENT BRIEF TO DEVELOP GREAT PROPERTIES

THE SITUATION

Kerala consistently proved to be a mine of athletes, P.T. Usha, Shiny Wilson & K.M. Beenamol, Anju Bobby George have done the country proud, and are a legion. Athletes from the state have represented the country and brought glory to the country.

However, all these sports have taken a backseat to cricket, owing to its mass popularity and youth appeal. Cricket owing to its mass popularity, youth appeal, glitz and glamour garners most of the advertiser monies. Push decided to create a pioneering sports property of its own accord. It was the a vision by V. A. Shrikumar, Chairman of Push Integrated Communications and Shri. Tony Chammany, the former Mayor of Cochin to bring back the glory of running.

THE IDEA

The task was to create an event that is truly international, an event that will attract the best of the best. The pre-requisites for making a truly international marathon was something the state had never tried before. It needed an AIMS approved route, international quality venue and elite athletes. The marketing needed to include encouraging prize money, promotions to drive participation.

Beyond all this was the consent of the Cochin Municipal Council, the civic bodies, the police and GCDA. The taste of success came when the Cochin Municipal Council gave an unanimous approval to the event.

Further AIMS inspected the route and gave its certification, making the marathon an international marathon on the AIMS calendar. The marathon got its approval from AFI and Kerala Athletic Council too.

The Cochin City Police and the Indian Navy decided to give the event their complete support. Muthoot Finance immediately recognised the potential of this event and agreed to be the title sponsor.

THE EXECUTION

It was a mammoth task to create awareness and make Cochin and the Cochin Marathon seen across Kerala and invite participation from across the length and breadth of the country. As all event managers would know, a new property gets only a part of its true value and it is a challenge to amplify the activity in the available budget.

Smaller sub-formats were also created to drive PR and provide more sponsor options. Megastar Mohanlal and Milkha Singh were signed as the face of the marathon and were invited to launch the registrations. The Marathon flame was lit by India’s Olympian Athlete Anju Bobby George at the Municipal Corporation Office.

There were 3 modes of registrations: Online on www.cochinmarathon.co, Offline – By collecting forms at Maharaja’s College Ground, Muthoot Finance branches. Corporate and institutional registrations through a letter and waiver signed.

Road Shows were conducted: The canter carrying the marathon flame was carried to schools and colleges, corporate hubs, high traffic zones, athletic clubs.

The canter was accompanied by the Area Corporator and celebrities to each venue. The lamp was handed over the respective school/college principal/corporate head. An anthem song was created. The anthem was launched at a grand Gala evening by the south Indian Superstar Nagarjuna. This event was attended by all dignitaries like the MLAs, Collector, Mayor, IG. All key sponsors were key invitees. The event involved unveiling of the anthem CD, premiere of the anthem, and hospitality sub events around the same.

Several Road Runs were organised – These were initiated to get the eminent personalities to encourage the spirit of running, Run by the Mayor, IG and Collector, Run by the Yacht Club members, Run by employees of Muthoot Group, Run by Heart Foundation.

Result

For the launch in social media, the key medium to kick off the marathon campaign – we got more than 500 registrations even before the mass campaign hit the media.

A Facebook page was launched to popularise the marathon. All events were also populated on Youtube and other sports and run-based social media channels. The theme song was launched on social media pages. We reached out to fan clubs of running groups to announce the marathon. Banners were put up on popular running sites. E-mailers were sent to popular gyms and corporates.

All celebrities participating started to tweet and write about the marathon. The FB page had more than 3500 likes and 3500 plus conversations at a point. India’s leading running clubs became a part of this page. People started advisory service for first time runners. Request for registration came from near and far. The FB page initiated registrations from Netherlands, Maldives, Kenya, Europe, etc. The website had more than 4000 unique visits in just 15 days of launch.

Media Coverage and PR: This was done through partnership with Malayala Manorama Group. PR coverage by MM Daily – Dedicated news sections to build up to the event, registration, events, expert columns PR coverage by MM News – Exclusive capsule to cover the marathon for 1 month, PR coverage by Radio Mango – RJ mentions, celebrity capsules, interviews, announcements about important dates, call in information, etc. PR coverage by Manorama Online and launch of Microsite Manorama News did a full coverage of the marathon live. This is one of the few marathons to get live coverage from year one.

The Result: We created the most covered sporting event in Kerala. From a participation of 13,000 in the launch year, it grew to 26,000 surpassing the Delhi half marathon.

  • Estimated media valuation of appox 14 Cr
  • 10,000 participants running
  • 100,000+ spectators on the streets of Kochi to cheer and encourage the runners
  • Maharaja's College Ground had more than 20,000 occupancy of spectators
  • Live coverage in all regional channels. National news channels covered it as part of the daily news report
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