On Nov. 26, 2018, it was announced that Greensboro would serve as the host city for the U. S. Figure Skating Championships for a historic third time (San Jose, California, just tied the record). From that day forward, Vela hit the ground running to create an online community for skating aficionados, athletes and the Greensboro community, and boy has it been a ride!
The process of preparing a site for this grand, one-week event usually takes 18 months. Greensboro, and affiliated partners, had only 14 months to complete this task. Greensboro is a dream venue with the needed hotel accommodations and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex (which has room for performance ice, practice ice and FanFest). While a year and two months may sound like a long time, it went by really quickly for us here at Vela.
In the first month, Vela created a campaign (“Greatness Is Coming”), along with content ideas. I flew to Detroit to interview a slew of your favorite athletes along with our great partners at @WGHP. We were ready to start launching content… until…
There’s a little Facebook rule that says you can’t change the name of a regional page if it falls under a global brand. So that means that even though there was a Facebook page created for the 2015 Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, I couldn’t just change a few digits in the name and start creating posts for an existing, although likely dormant, audience.
Nope. Facebook wouldn’t budge on that one. And trust me, I pleaded my case for about a month.
So how do you get everyone excited about figure skating if you aren’t sure how to reach them? Here’s where an agency steps in. We had to start over, but what a great start it was. I was able to start a new page to engage a new following for ice skating in Greensboro with page follow campaigns and paid promotions in conjunction with U. S. Figure Skating. We also held contests and got tickets to the most engaged fans on the page.
Plus, I had a new tool to use. Since the 2015 games, the last time that Greensboro served as host, a little app called Instagram grew exponentially. Seeing the opportunity there, I created a page to connect athletes and their families and fans directly (Shout out to Darlene Cain, mother of Ashley Cain-Gribble, as the most engaged mom on social!)
This new audience will be ready to share images from their experiences with their friends and families to solidify Greensboro once again as a main destination for ice skating.
So, while #GreatnessWasHere, it took a lot of work to get people excited about this event. And from the reaction of skaters and fans, it looks like it was an eventful #USChamps20.
And this just in – while we do what we do because we love it at Vela, we’re always excited when others recognize the care and dedication we’ve put into our work. Shortly after the U. S. Figure Skating Championships wrapped up on Sunday, January 26, we learned our campaign won a gold AVA Digital Award for Web-Based Production: Social Media (Instagram). It was the “ice” on our cake.
Want to learn more about Vela’s social media campaigns for clients? Contact us today.