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.”


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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.


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Out of Home



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.