The biggest challenge for this first annual Rockford Ninja Warrior event was the timeframe. With less than two months separating when BridgeWay Community Church got approval for the event and when they planned on having it, a huge team of volunteers and corporate sponsors had to come together to make the event a reality.
From an online perspective, the basic framework was in place to launch a digital strategy but none of the promotion had been started. When LionShark Digital Marketing’s proposal was accepted a month before the event, everyone involved hit the ground running to start building buzz.
LionShark took a multi-faceted approach to crafting a digital marketing strategy for the Rockford Ninja Warrior event.
• Optimize on-page web content for the search engines
• Build out social media profiles with optimized content and interlink them for greater social connectivity
• Develop a brand voice to use in social communications that was reflective of the Rockford Ninja Warrior event but also representative of BridgeWay
• Compose a press release to announce the event to the community
• Reach out to local news sources to get them to cover the event
• Add web content to the existing site to answer the community’s questions
• Create a blog and generate targeted content that was shareable and informative
• Maintain a strong social media presence to attract community interest
• Document the many volunteer efforts needed to put the event together and share them online to show the community what they could expect
The results of LionShark’s integrated digital marketing approach were overwhelming. The turnout over the course of the two-day Rockford Ninja Warrior event was almost twice what BridgeWay had been anticipating. This exceptional turnout is due to the traction that was able to be made online. The website, blog and Facebook page reached people in 30+ countries, 48 states and 250+ cities and towns in Michigan.
The American Ninja Warrior competitors that took part all had a great time and commented that it was the most professional event they had attended that was not affiliated with the NBC hit TV show “American Ninja Warrior.” However, the buzz was not just limited to the TV personalities that were present for the event. Some of the biggest celebrities in the American Ninja Warrior community took notice and actually reached out to BridgeWay asking to be included in subsequent years.
The 130 adult registration spots filled up quickly for the Pro Course and many more people signed up to receive emails about the annual event so that they could take part next year. Athletes from the surrounding states registered to compete and families from all over Michigan came to witness the first-ever Ninja Warrior-style competition in West Michigan. Over 1,000 kids registered onsite to compete on the Junior Course over the weekend. With proceeds going toward building a community center for children and to benefit the Developing Healthy Kids program, a large amount of money was raised from registrations, concessions and merchandise sales.
"LionShark Digital Marketing was a godsend for our Rockford Ninja Warrior event. We wanted our event to be huge, and a large part of making it what it became was the social media service LionShark provided. What happened blew us away. The amount of buzz generated from LionShark's targeted SEO and social media work was so massive we ended up pulling in huge crowds of people from other states. Over five thousand people showed up, and even more talked about the event online. LionShark provided us detailed statistics and analytics every step of the way and their targeted blogging was a huge relief to our overstretched staff. We were amazed by LionShark and the online marketing services they provided. I would highly recommend LionShark."
- Cameron Versluis
Rockford Ninja Warrior organizer