Brand power: Mooloolaba Triathlon
Since its appointment in 2005 as the host of Australia’s only leg of the World Cup series, this drawcard event has seen tens of thousands of competitors and spectators flock to Mooloolaba’s idyllic seaside location to see some of the worlds best triathletes go head to head and vie for a start at that year’s World Championships.
The 2008 Mooloolaba Triathlon was the largest and most popular of the Festival’s 16-year history, with a 20% increase in participation across all events. The Sunday afternoon showcased one of the most high profile group of elite triathletes to ever compete in Australia with a total of 127 athletes representing 37 countries.
In recent years Queensland Events have worked closely with organisers USM EVENTS to ensure the triathlon has the right mix to be a long-term fixture on the triathlon calendar. The only missing element is a major sponsor. In true elite athlete fashion, the team have set their eye on this goal and are working hard towards it.
USM EVENTS Marketing manager Angela Hamilton says the team have spent the past two years focusing on turning the Moo Tri into a national brand.
“The Moo Tri is a much-loved event for serious triathletes, fans and local Queenslanders but hasn’t been well known outside the state,” Angela says.
“It became obvious that in order to attract a national sponsor, the Moo Tri must become a national brand.”
Utilising funding from Queensland Events, USM EVENTS created a national and international marketing campaign in the lead-up to the 2008 Mooloolaba Triathlon.
“We chose New Zealand as a target market due to its proximity to Australia, and our existing relationship with media made the campaign efficient and effective,” says Angela.
“In Victoria, we had a little fun teasing the locals with summery images right in the middle of their winter.
“The idea was to focus on the destination and great weather enjoyed by the Mooloolaba Triathlon, and lure triathlon loving sun-seekers north.”
Complementing the advertising and public relations campaigns, USM EVENTS hosted journalist famil programs from a number of destinations. In addition, the team produce an annual one hour highlights show for television which is aired nationally on Network Seven. In 2008, the show was broadcast to a global audience across 20 countries.
“The entire marketing program over the past two years was about placing the Moo Tri in front of new general markets, rather than the usual ‘direct’ markets,” says Angela.
“The results were immediate – 2008 was a record year for the Mooloolaba Triathlon, with big increases in the number of participants and supporters who came from interstate and overseas.”
“Our efforts to create a national brand for the Mooloolaba Triathlon will be ongoing, and we feel confident now in offering any potential national sponsor greater value for their investment.”
2009 Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival
When: March 27-29, 2009