The Last Easter Shoe Hunt Post of 2009 (maybe)

I hit up Transworld Business prior to Easter Shoe hunt to see if they could promote and received radio silence. A few weeks later they reached out to me inquiring how it went etc. So, click on the art below or this fancy link to find out. (or you can just scroll down)

Leveraging Twitter for Event Marketing

Mike Lewis

This year, Washington D.C. blog South of the North brought the Easter Bunny to the nation’s capital with a new take on the power of twitter. In conjunction with Vans, DC, Nike SB, Loyal Laces, Index Ink, and Convoy Skateboards they created a treasure hunt tweeted clues to the location of fifteen golden eggs, good for a free pair of kicks, one at a time to everybody that signed up. “The goal was to hook up some local skaters, drive business into local shops, and figure out the appropriate level of brand integration,” says Jonny Burns, the man behind South of the North. The idea was spawned by Tony Hawk’s recent twitter scavenger hunt, and Burns, an action sports consultant, wanted to see if he could achieve something similar without Hawk’s name recognition.

We caught up with Burns to find out more about how he’s using twitter and the event. Here’s what he had to say:

The South of the North twitter account saw an increase of 190 subscribers over a 5 day period which was pretty good for no marketing and word of mouth. Considering how small the skate community is in Washington D.C. It was more interesting to see how many non-skate people got involved by discovering the event via twitter hashtags. (#Free, #D.C., #Washington, etc)

On the brand side we tied back retweets, new features, product features, etc into the contest over the course of the day. We also tweeted the brands twitter account with the message to support the sponsors. Same as promoters sponsors any contest only our megaphone/microphone is twitter.

The overall goal was to see if it works for “the little guy.” Tony hawk can do this because … well he’s Tony Hawk. He’s worth millions and has the same number of fans. But, can somebody whose name is not a brand name still pull this off? I thought it could be done and pulled it all together with the help of some generous sponsors and friends. This wasn’t a money making venture for myself or any of the sponsors. The biggest take away is that we provided a fun event for seven hours in Washington D.C. handing out shoes, giving brands and a local shop some additional exposure and the out of pocket expense was mostly time. Local shops, brands, they can be doing this today if they wanted. It’s a model that works if you’re name is Tony Hawk or your blog is named The web can level the playing field if you are creative enough.

A few funny things happened. First we were en route to drop an egg off at the 4th stop of the day and we tweeted a clue that “Mel Gibson yelled this and Pepe used to skate it” Obviously a shout out to Freedom Plaza and Pepe Martiniez. However at this point we didn’t know who was actually playing along. So we rolled up to freedom and there were a handful of guys rifling through bushes, trees, picking up panels searching for the egg. We went stealth mode walked over and tossed it down. When one of the guys found it another lost his shit and started screaming he had just looked there. I felt bad for a minute but somebody wins and somebody loses.

Afterward we rolled up to U Street in D.C. and hid a shoe egg in the Washington Times newspaper box in front of the world famous restaurant Ben’s Chili bowl. There was only one newspaper left in the box and we had to ward off a lady who wanted to buy the paper ( I handed her the one I picked up when I deposited the egg) and then the players/contestants came. The first guy who ran up didn’t believe us that he needed 50 cents to get a paper and the egg. He flipped out looking for change. Next a lady ran up deposited the change and nearly ripped the handle off the newspaper box opening it up. Needless to say she got the shoes and walked away pretty happy. I handed off a t-shirt to the first guy…

It was a really fun but long day and I’ll be doing something similar to it for go skate day and likely expanding to NYC, LA, Chicago and continuing in D.C. This type of thing to hook up skaters, do something fun and DIY … to me this is one example of finding common ground and use for things like twitter in the world of action sports.

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