Are you considering ways to boost media coverage for your organization? Is your Governing Body looking to drive incremental media buzz?
The USA Wrestling Team recently teamed up with IFL Communications to orchestrate a well-planned and executed media plan to help promote their "Fuel the Dream" fundraising campaign. After four days of grueling qualifying for the Beijing Olympics, twelve (12) USA wrestling team members (six men, six women) traveled cross country alongside four (4) staff members to begin a media campaign in New York City. The group spent three (3) days promoting the "Fuel the Dream", a fundraising initiative that will enable the athletes to have their families join them in Beijing.
A "media tour" of this kind was a broad stroke for a mid-sized National Governing Body to pull off, but USA Wrestling, with the help of IFL Strategic Communications, set up a full range of long and short term media opportunities that involved every athlete. The hits ranged from NPR and the New York Times to CNBC and Telemundo and included appearances at the New York Stock Exchange and the Sports Museum of America, where the team congregated with the Chinese Olympic baseball team. The trip also included a media lunch at Foley's New York, where the restaurant unveiled a sandwich dedicated to the USA Wrestling team, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the team's "Fuel The Dream" campaign.
In all, the team did almost 25 hours of interviews with over 30 media organizations over a 48 hour period, helping the team garner immediate national and regional exposure for both the athletes and the brand. The team's media initiative also helped seed stories with media that will be on hand for the Olympics in Beijing.
Bringing mid-level athletes en masse to New York and proactively identifying and then pitching the stories to a wide range of media is a worthwhile practice that other Governing Bodies should consider in an Olympic year, as the cost of travel paled in comparision to the long and short range exposure. Leading into the month of August, tremendous coverage will be given to U.S. athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics, but the USA Wrestling Team is hoping that with these efforts, they will be one step ahead.
Thanks to Joe Favorito of the IFL for his contributions to this column. We wish the USA Wrestling team and IFL Strategic Communications the best of luck with their preparations heading into the Beijing Games.