Charlotte Marathon | Rebrand + Marketing

“How do we create a marathon experience that Charlotte can embrace as our own?”

That’s the question the race director asked as we discussed the marketing plan for Charlotte’s only marathon: Thunder Road. The Thunder Road Marathon had history and a NASCAR theme, but people weren’t treating it like our hometown marathon. It was time for a change.

Hello, Charlotte Marathon.

With the new name, we crafted a new logo and message to match. Working with a stylized version of the Queen City’s crown, we put Charlotte’s identity front and center and paired it with the unapologetic tagline, “Our Streets. Our City. Our Marathon.”

Logo

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Behind the rebrand

A new name and logo are nice, but refreshed aesthetics rarely shift culture alone. Launching the rebrand was our first opportunity to build a community. We mapped a multi-channel strategy to increase engagement and conversation, including a website, social media, video production and media relationships.

 

Website

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Out of Home

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Videos

Beyond these channels, the Charlotte Marathon is ultimately about people.
With that in mind, we developed the ambassador program. In exchange for swag, race entries, social media shout-outs and support, the ambassadors shared their training experiences in their own voices (on social media and in-person) and hosted events throughout the year.

The result? Media coverage in the Charlotte Observer and Charlotte Agenda and incredible social media engagement: 18% increase in new Facebook page likes, 900% increase in average post likes, 356% increase in average post reach, 134% increase in video views, and 88% increase in website referrals.