Period: July – September 2012
Client: Triathlete Justin Levine
Subject: Fundraiser / Live Charity Event
Owner of California Fitness Academy and President of the Visalia Triathlon Club set out to raise over $15,000 dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in a project he called LIMITLESS: “Life in Motion”. The idea was to run 300 miles in 100 hours, from Visalia, California all the way down Santa Monica, California. Concurrently his brother Josh Levine, a movie director and producer from Los Angeles, filmed the entire event and will create a documentary surrounding the long trek. Justin’s support team included his family, the community, and the local “Team in Training” group. His belief was to show that limits are simply self-imposed, that anything is possible.
The biggest challenge was to gain support, awareness, and funding for his goal through publicity and media. The campaign also had a very little to no budget. Since the funding process was getting support through “Team in Training”, ideally my main objective was gaining support and awareness.
Below are the strategies and tactics that I used before, during, and after the event.
- Traditional Media Outlets: The idea was to create a list of every town Justin would run through on his 300-mile trek. I went straight to local media outlets. I also went to local newspapers and radio shows. With Justin, we did a pre-run and post-run media tour. But what was interesting is that I scheduled interviews while he was running. So there were several instances where reporters had to drive out far to find him.
- Online Marketing: Justin is the owner and fitness trainer at California Fitness Academy which has over 1,000 Facebook followers. The idea was to lace marketing messages within the social media posting calendar to the business Facebook page. Everything from tell people to encourage him to if we needed support when he ran.
- Social Media Publicity: Justin’s personal Facebook page has over 3,000 friends following him. We scheduled reminders to people about the event and kept adding more information as the event came closer. I personally took over his Facebook page while he ran, which resulted in countless likes and comments every time I posted an update status of his progress.
- Awareness Events: During his 4-day run, I scheduled fun fitness events during classes at the gym where members could win prizes, created a “Where is Justin” map with hourly updates, planned and oversaw fun events for youth to participate in. The idea was to have a fun environment and create awareness.
Below were the final results.
- Raised $16,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
- Was interviewed by local, regional, and national outlets.
- Gain over 500+ new followers on his social media outlets.
Justin saw success in both his fundraising over the amount he targeted and had media placement in everything from the Fresno Bee, Porterville Recorder, KSEE 24 News, ESPN Radio, and the Visalia-Times Delta.