When some of the world’s best athletes descend on the region for a leading sporting event, media coverage is high on the priority list for any event organiser. But securing editorial coverage in local and national newspapers can be a challenge for even the most experienced of communications professionals.
Multisport event company, Dynamo Events know only too well the importance of having media coverage to ensure ticket sales and successful spectator numbers. When the seasoned event organisers were putting on New Zealand’s biggest CrossFit team competition, they turned to HGB for communication support.
CrossFit has become a sport of choice for many New Zealanders over the last decade. Workouts, or WODs as those in the know call them (Workout of the Day if you don’t), consist of functional exercises incorporating Olympic weight training, gymnastics, cardio and HITT style workouts.
Dynamo Events manager, Nathan Cox, is a self-confessed CrossFitter. When the opportunity came about to combine his passion for the sport with a high profile national team event, he got the wheels in motion.
“CrossFit is a great spectator sport,” says Nathan. “The strength and agility of athletes, combined with the range of activities they do during any workout, makes it a natural for a competition. We saw an opportunity to really raise the profile of the support by holding the Team Nationals, where over 500 athletes would vie for the title of best CrossFit team in New Zealand.”
Nathan was able to secure an added attraction to the event – the participation of three of the biggest names in international CrossFit. With athletes of this calibre agreeing to take part in the event, Nathan wanted to ensure he got more than just a Facebook post. He wanted national media coverage.
HGB’s strategic director, Jacqui Gage-Brown starts each working day at 5am with a CrossFit WOD. She knew the potential media coverage this event could attract so set to work with HGB’s communications professionals to craft a press release that would make the media stand up and take notice.
“There were so many great elements to this event that we could use to encourage the media to report on it,” says Jacqui. “Not only were there athletes ranked in the top 50 of the world participating, there were 96 teams from throughout New Zealand attending, plus a Dynamo Events invitation team, and an element of surprise – none of the athletes knew what events they would be competing in until on the day. That’s the CrossFit way but it gave us an extra angle or two in which to say to the media – this is an event worth covering.”
The most effective press releases have the right combination of an emotionally engaging headline, succinct messaging, key details and a point of different. HGB sat down with Nathan to brainstorm the most relevant angle to take in a press release.
“We then utilised our contacts within the industry to get national coverage in the sports pages of the New Zealand Herald,” says Jacqui. “The article also went up online and was featured in the local Bay of Plenty news too, which is where the Team Nationals were being held.”
Nathan was extremely happy with the outcome. “I know journalists get bombarded with potential media stories all of the time, so we needed the help of HGB to get our event over the line and into the paper. The press release worked and we were stoked to get both print and online coverage. It made for a really great event.”