Marathon for Attention

The Victoria Goodlife Fitness Marathon got off to its start bright and early this morning, The marathon has gotten lots of attention in the local media.  As one might expect, many companies hold an interest in receiving media attention for their contributions to the marathon proceedings.

Times Colonist coverage of the marathon is here

It is always interesting to see all of the people who try to piggyback on the coverage that the marathon receives   For example, this year there is a lawyer attempting to set the record for the fastest marathon run in a suit.  Not only is he trying to increase brand awareness for himself but also for his law firm.  I think that the reason this particular story line stood out was because of the way that the person has chosen to grab attention.  By creating interest in this world record attempt the law firm has received much more attention than they would have by being a sponsor of the event.

Press release for the lawyers attempt is available here

It presents an interesting question to organizations looking to get in on the hype of a big event such as the marathon; this is, are they better off avoiding the high costs of advertising and just trying to find a way to get some creative exposure.  I can tell you that I certainly heard more about this lawyer than I did about any of the actual marathon advertisers who paid good money for my attention.  The only exception to this was that I heard more about Goodlife Fitness, mainly because they are a premier advertiser who has made a substantial investment in being the title sponsor.

I think that there is a possibility that the two strategies could be combined.  If you were to sponsor the event you could gain attention of the people involved in the marathon while at the same time you could get the attention of people that may not care about the marathon but would read about a human interest story.  In my opinion, the human-interest angle would work best for a company that would not necessarily be associated with the primary event.  The reason for this is because it surprises the reader more and makes them want to find out why a lawyer would be running a marathon in a suit.


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