World Athletics are the international governing body for the world’s biggest Olympic sport. In 2021, they undertook their biggest ever consultation exercise in the sport’s history. This was named the Global Conversation. This was an ambitious survey to gather feedback from the sport’s global audiences. World Athletics were undertaking this exercise to inform the strategic plan for the sport going forward.

And so, they commissioned Fruit Marketing to develop content for World Athletics to prompt participation in the exercise from every affiliated nation including video, graphics and copy. A key objective was to engage younger demographics in the consultation to shape the future of the sport.

At that time, most nations were in lockdown or under social restrictions. So, there was very limited capacity to engage participation on the ground with in-person events or physical touchpoints in marketing activities. As a result, the campaign would be heavily dependent upon digital content was particularly important.

This meant, that Fruit Marketing led on an integrated multi-channel marketing campaign developing, identifying, and delivering content for the Global Conversation web platform. This included copywriting, video, image-based and graphic led content. It also meant careful communications with multiple athletics federations across Europe, Africa, Oceania, South America, North America and Asia.

It also required liaison with influencer figures, including elite athletes, agents, coaches and senior administrators to engage it the campaign and to grow reach and engagement.

Bearing in mind the breadth of the campaign and the multiple countries and cultures, it required a skilled approach. So, using our international experience, we used tact, diplomacy, persistence, resilience, and sensitivity throughout. This was to best leverage the support of stakeholders and influencers internationally. And beyond that, to reach multiple demographics and persuade them to take part in the survey. All of which meant the campaign exceeded expectations by:

  • Engaging 25,000 (exact) respondents in the survey.
  • 6729 respondents aged 24 or under.
  • Respondents across 178 territories or countries.
  • “Viral” hero-moments including gold medallist athletes Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), Beth Potter (GBR), Christian Taylor (USA).