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Epic Race – Act II: The Marketing Rewards of 200 Racers Visiting 26 Ski Resorts

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Let’s back up for just a moment to look again at what Vail had to gain from this race. The way I see it, the rules implied two goals.

First, by requiring racers to create and share two photos and one video (photos on Facebook and the Epic Race site, videos on YouTube), Vail was showing a hand that leaned heavily on the reach and impact such content would provide.

The other piece was the racers themselves. As I mentioned yesterday, racers, and especially winners, were primed to become brand advocates for life.

The Content
Let’s first look at the content. The leader board shows 221 racers with a combined 4,294 visits. The visibility of racers’ photos is tough to measure with the non-public nature of Facebook, but let’s look at the YouTube videos uploaded by the racers.

Here are a few stats:

Total Video Uploads: 4,060
Total Video Views (at time of writing): 66,121
Average Views per Video: 16

Now, keep in mind that 66,121 refers to total views, not unique viewers. In that regard, the results are lacking. True, 66,121 views is still 66,121 views, but head to head against the views of Glen Eden, New Brunswick.’s YouTube channel, the Epic Race comes in 2nd.

The People
So, the content wasn’t overwhelmingly successful, but what about the people? These were Vail’s prime guests – traveling, proficient skiers with disposable time/income – with friends who were likely to be just as adventurous.

Turning such a group into brand advocates would be worth their weight in gold.

And that’s exactly how it started. Outside of the required media racers kept up blogs about their adventures that friends and family eagerly followed.

They were interviewed by media outlets, going on and on about how much fun this was, how great their passes were and how, even if they didn’t win, they were happy to be part of such an incredible event and brand.

The Final Day
But, they did want to win. Badly. This desire was worth about $5,000 on their credit cards, two months of their lives, and $30,000 in future skiing expenses.

As the final resort’s opening day approached, the dance between camaraderie and a lifetime of free skiing reached its peak. The next day would see racers disqualified for breaking resort rules and racers disqualified for incomplete entries.

But after the dust settled, something didn’t smell right…and it wouldn’t take long before everyone knew it. We’ll talk about that on Friday.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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