Off The Wall Media was brought in to work with the Portland Marathon in 2004. The Portland Marathon was looking for new ways to turn decreasing finisher numbers around and Les Smith, Event Director felt that improving their online marketing campaign would greatly increase the event’s reach. We couldn’t have agreed more with Les and together we set out on a mission to bring the Portland Marathon one of the best online marketing campaigns of any Marathon event.

As they say numbers don’t lie and the Portland Marathon has sold out the event for the first time in its 40-year history not once but back to back in 2010 and 2011. After only the first 5 years of the new online campaign, 2012 is not only poised to sellout again, it’s set to set a record of how quickly it will sell out. Our team worked to do this by leveraging and integrating 3 simple interactive marketing platforms:

  1. Utilize Email Marketing A Majority of The Portland Marathon’s correspondence and important event documentation is sent through email contact. The event treats each correspondence as they would any marketing collateral. They are branded and all deliver a message and call to action. Compilation of daily posts and weekly blogs develop content that is consistent with the conversations created through social media and website posts, over the course of the month.
  2. Update Your Website Frequently Les Smith, Event Director, uses the Portland Marathon website to update all aspects of the event. This goes for something as simple as road closures or as complex as the Occupy Portland Movement setting up protests only hours before the event. Les has harnessed the power of using your website as your own broadcasting station.
  3. Create Interaction with Social Media The Portland Marathon has over 5,000 followers on their Facebook page and regularly use Twitter, Facebook and several other social media sites to provide their followers with inside information on the event. In addition, there are polls that are created, to draw community interaction and ownership of changes that can be made to the event.

The Portland Marathon’s continued online email marketing campaigns, addition of social media campaigns and website enhancements have been a major contribution to the events success, says Les Smith the Portland Marathon Director. He has attributed the website as one of the largest factors in selling out FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE EVENT’S 40 YEAR HISTORY. This site has been promoted on all local and regional news networks, it is the 8th largest marathon in the country and the website created by Off The Wall Media provides the portal to millions of dollars in registration revenue.

In addition, Off The Wall Media’s online distribution methods have significantly cut several costs to the Portland Marathon. Digital distribution has cut annual, print, development of mailers and mailing costs for the Portland Marathon by over $250,000 annually. This was previously one of the heftiest costs to the event. Off The Wall Media worked with the marathon to look at ways that hardcopy correspondence could be streamlined by online delivery. Our discovery was that we could cut mailings to over 15,000 participants, 5,000 volunteers and 25,000 additional past event participants and supporters each month. This was a significant savings to the event and has allowed for the revenue saved to be re-distributed to the incredible non-profit organizations that work so diligently to make the Portland Marathon an even greater success each year.

Let us know if you have additional ideas on how we can use the Internet to go paperless to sustain our environment and save our clients money.