Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nike Helps Hope Ride Again

One of the best cases of cause marketing is the Livestrong brand created in partnership between Nike and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

"Hope Rides Again" was Nike's campaign this year in support of Lance Armstrong's return to pro cycling and most notably the Tour de France. Nike has been there from the founding of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and actually created the iconic yellow wristbands that define the Livestrong movement. And it is Nike who sponsors the annual signature fundraising events for the org -- the "Livestrong Challenge" across 4 cities including 5k and cycling events.

My family has made an annual tradition to participate in the Austin 5k Challenge and did so recently. It was a brisk Saturday morning where over 3,200 walkers and runners turned-out to raise more than $4 Million for the weekend, including Sunday’s bike ride.

But what makes this event, and many similar walk/run fundraising events for charities, so important isn't just the money raised. It's the tribe mentality that's created. It's a club that sometimes you really don't want to be a member of, but if you are, it's so special to be with others with shared experiences. It's the team shirts, home-made signs, tears of sadness AND joy, and melting pot of people (and dogs), that makes these fundraisers so memorable. These sponsored engagements for 1 or 2 days is what keeps advocates engaged throughout the rest of the year. And in this case, how Nike helps Livestrong help hope ride again.