Case Studies

Nike Melbourne Marathon

Paid Socials
Paid Search

66% increase in YoY sign-ups, with 17.5K participants waitlisted

Talk about breaking our own PB!

In 2023, our partnership with IMG for the Nike Melbourne Marathon achieved our most remarkable results to date, completely selling out both the full and half marathon events a whopping 14 weeks before race day.

Not only were there enough runners to fill the MCG (and then some — 17.5K eager participants were on the waiting list), but our paid strategy achieved these numbers at an impressively low CPA of $2.98 across all channels.

Read on for more standout results, and tried and tested tips for successful Event Marketing.

The Results:

  • 66% increase in YoY event sign-ups
  • 40% of all registrations attributed to Paid Media
  • 14.92 ROAS on Meta
  • 67 ROAS on Google
  • $2.98 CPA across all paid channels
  • 54% more YoY conversions for 28% lower cost YoY
  • 39K participants signed up, with 17.5K on the waitlist

The Solution:

Here are our four golden tips for Event Marketing.

1 – The early bird catches the… Runners?

We didn't just start; we sprinted into action with paid social marketing (via Meta and TikTok) more than five whole months before the marathon! 

Early stages matter. They help gauge event popularity and initial audience responses, and guess what — 57.7% of revenue acquired through Socials were during our Early Bird campaigns on Meta! Talk about a rush to the finish line.

2 – Urgency messaging is key.

Pacing your ad messaging is just as important as pacing your race.

Keep the momentum going throughout, but kick it up a notch with countdown messages like "Last Chance for Early Bird Pricing" or "On this Weekend!" 

Hot Tip: Make sure you implement rules to turn your ads off and on at the correct dates to ensure that only the right information is communicated at the right time.

3 – Emotions drive decision-making more than rational thought.

Each year, the true test lies in rallying registrations for the shorter distances within the festival — specifically, the 10km, 5km, and 3km races.

Given that many can finish them in under an hour, we must look at what value there is outside the distance itself. What would make individuals pay to run a 3km route when they could just run a couple laps any other day?

This is where emotions come into play. The Nike Melbourne Marathon offers powerful emotional draws — the exhilaration of crossing the MCG finish line and vibrant camaraderie alongside thousands of fellow runners.

Utilising IG Reels and TikToks developed per storytelling principles, we briefed our UGC creators to emphasise what they felt during their training and the race. And it worked! 

The 10km and 5km sold out for the first time in Melbourne Marathon history.

From a marketing metrics perspective, our Meta account achieved low and cost-effective CPMs of $6.50 at a 1.30% CTR on average.

4 – Interstate audiences matter too!

Believe it or not: 15% of racers came from interstate and overseas! Sure, the Nike Melbourne Marathon may be in Melbourne, but it’s not for Melburnians alone.

Especially for large scale events, we cannot emphasise the importance of spreading the message as far and wide as possible.

At every stage of our strategy, UGC for the Nike Melbourne Marathon was produced by our sister agency Sticki, who managed the entire content pipeline. With thousands of vetted creators in our database, finding the perfect creator for any brand (incl. runners and athletes like in this case) can be accomplished easier than finishing a race. 

This overwhelming success has led the IMG team to start advertising efforts even earlier in 2024,  but as of mid-January this year, tickets are already selling out FAST. 

The half marathon currently boasts an 80% capacity despite nine more months to go, whilst the full marathon is completely sold out

So, if one of your 2024 New Year’s Resolutions involves running those 42 kilometres, make sure you jump onto the Nike Melbourne Marathon waitlist quick.

If your brand’s 2024 resolutions involve smashing sales and KPIs, our experts’ omnichannel marketing efforts are ready to help. Connect with us today.

Datasauce bottle icon
Datasauce bottle icon
Datasauce bottle icon
Datasauce bottle icon
Paid Socials
Paid Search