How we ran a race challenge in the peak of the pandemic and set a local running record


Marketing & Events

How we ran a race challenge in the peak of the pandemic and set a local running record

The Mission

In 2020, it was an impossibility to meet and connect with large groups of people in the physical space. This didn’t stop us from running, facilitating or supporting community-building initiatives. Our involvement in the SMOO Challenge was one such endeavour.  

This effort was part of a wider celebration of SMU’s milestone 20th anniversary and was spearheaded by the institution's Office of Advancement. The campaign has successfully set the Singapore record for ‘Longest Distance Covered Online by Runners in 20 Days’ by collectively clocking 57,346.35km as OneSMU. A total of 1,218 participants including students, alumni, staff and faculty of SMU, as well as members of the public — from 16 countries and 90 teams. This community initiative was a proud accomplishment, raising over $430,000 for the SMU Bursary Fund.

Through the SMOO Challenge, people were gifted the incredible experience of coming together for a good cause and working out from the comfort of their homes - physically apart and yet, together more than ever.  

Our Brain Juice Approach

Community Events

To keep people motivated throughout this challenge, we onboarded 7 fitness ambassadors who were also SMU alumni. These alumni members rallied more people to join in and pledge their commitment to the SMOO Challenge through a variety of fun, community-centred workouts, ranging from intense HIIT to barre. A total of 7 sessions gathered more than 150 new registrants.

The official virtual kickoff of the SMOO Challenge consisted of inspirational messages from the community and 4 different workout sessions. This was held on the SMU Alumni Giving Facebook page, which successfully garnered close to 5k reached, 5.5k Organic Impressions and 600 Post Clicks with 0 ad spend.

Content Marketing

We devised and created content to maximise the reach of this meaningful initiative.

We opted for a strategy that was people-facing and allowed for a greater range of voices, faces and personality. This reflected the reality of the initiative’s success hinging on community effort.

We also worked closely with 42Race, Singapore's first virtual running app to organise virtual runs for runners around the world, in syncing relevant information on the challenge such as the participant breakdown, leaderboard as well as announcements on the virtual workouts to keep all participants well informed.

Our Role

  • Virtual event and technical consultancy
  • Conceptualisation and programming of SMOO Challenge Kick-off
  • Rehearsal with key personalities and fitness ambassadors
  • Livestream hardware and software management
  • Technical programming of on-screen materials
  • Live production during the virtual event
  • Mini Impact Reports: Charting the progress made by community donations and contributions
  • Fitness Ambassador Graphics: Profiling the alumni faces of the SMOO Challenge workouts
  • Community highlights: Showcasing people and groups who were actively participating in the challenge

Our Impact

Through our efforts, this period was accompanied by an unprecedented 280% increase in video engagement and 3k of total viewers engaged - all with 0 ad spend as well.

Through community outreach methods like mobilising ambassadors and conceptualising online events, we gave the SMOO Challenge the momentum it needed to succeed and exceed the fundraising goal for the SMU Bursary Fund, allowing financially-challenged students access to a world-class SMU education. It reminded us that nothing great can ever be achieved alone.

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