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Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa used Influencers to raise awareness as part of their international

About

Summary 

The Great Ethiopian Run 10k, set up by Haile Gabrselassie and Richard Nerurkar  in 2000, takes place each November in Addis Ababa. It is Africa’s biggest road race and is a mass participation event that attracts around 45,000 runners. The vast majority of participants are Ethiopian fun runners, led by world class elite runners and with around 500 international participants.

The Great Ethiopian Run company asked Acorn to produce an International Digital Marketing Strategy to provide the strategic direction and an action plan for the GER’s marketing activities. The Marketing Strategy aims to raise the international profile of the GER, and Ethiopia as a destination, and to attract increased numbers of international participants to the GER’s races over three years to 2022. The direct benefits to the GER of increasing international participation is growth in revenue and foreign exchange.

Our Approach

Throughout 2019, we worked closely with Richard Nerurkar, the GER’s international Marketing Director, to identify the GER’s brand strengths, analyse the profile of the existing participants and develop a strategy to raise awareness of the race amongst these target groups. 

It became evident that the majority of participants already had a connection to Ethiopia, with around three-quarters of them travelling in groups, mostly organised by charities with projects in Ethiopia. To attract more individual participants and running groups, it would be necessary to first sell them Ethiopia as a destination of choice. The initial focus was therefore on increasing groups bookings. 

A new section of the GER website was developed with content directed at charities, running groups, school groups as well as individual runners. It was also planned to create a new site with more content on Ethiopia as a destination. 

To raise awareness of the GER 10k International we worked with Blogilicous.com, a specialist travel blog platform, to identify four adventure travel influencers to participate in the November 2019 race. They were contracted with a clear brief to provide pre-event, event and post-event social media coverage and deliver both videos and blogs that could be used to build content on the event. 

Outcome 

The travel Influencer campaign generated a reach of more than 1.25 million amongst the target active adventure travellers. There was a high engagement rate of 8% and more than 100,000 views of the videos on YouTube during month of the event, with audience comments indicating a strong positive interest in both the GER and Ethiopia as a destination. 

The Marketing Strategy 2020-22 provided the GER with a robust roadmap for growing international participation for the Great Ethiopian Run. It included setting clear strategic objectives and a phased approach to implementation of the action plan based on the available budget. A clear brand positioning was addressed and the niche and geographic target markets identified with strategies to attract them. 

The overall strategy included a detailed Digital Content Marketing Strategy on how to engage potential participants throughout the travel purchase journey from planning, engaging, converting and growing audiences. A detailed action plan and budget provided the detail on how to deliver the campaign with the available resources. 

Directions

Public Transport Directions

Acorn Tourism designed a Digital Marketing Strategy to unlock the potential of attracting more international runners to our events. This included inviting influencers to our flagship event with a programme of activities managed by Acorn with expert professionalism. The true value of the strategy become evident in their commitment to help ups implement many of their recommendations.

Richard Nerurkar, International Participation Manager, Great Ethiopian Run

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Great Ethiopian Run Influencer Marketing Campaign

Client:

Great Ethiopian Run plc,

Location:

Ethiopia
Great Ethiopian Run plc

This project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Acorn AwardsSDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 2020

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk