The Invictus Games, started by Prince Harry of Wales, took over Central Florida May 8-12, giving wounded warriors a chance to compete in 10 sporting events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney, here in Orlando. It’s an inspired organization that shines a light on service men and women who have suffered life-changing injuries while serving their countries. This competition allowed these athletes to be defined by their abilities rather than their disabilities. Orlando will definitely benefit from the attention and the star-studded guests, and it was chosen due to the fact that our great city offers amazing sporting facilities and infrastructure that can support tourism seamlessly.
So, chances are if you live in Orlando, you heard of the Invictus Games, and you’re aware that Prince Harry, Morgan Freeman, George W. Bush, and Allison Janney attended. But the most impressive thing about the Invictus Games was how impressive their digital marketing efforts were in engaging its community and increasing attendees. With efforts in social media, web design, video, content marketing, and SEO, we want to dig deep to learn some digital marketing lessons from the Invictus Games.
Event engagement is now mostly driven by social media, rather than at the actual event. That’s why events, especially events as grandiouse as the Invictus Games, need to encourage the use of hashtags through their own social media accounts, as well as through signage and print marketing at the actual event. The Invictus Games did just that.
They used #MoreThanThankYou for people to support service members and submit their story of bravery and service. Submissions were reviewed and a handful were highlighted on the Invictus Games’ website and featured during the Opening Ceremony.
In addition to that hashtag, they engaged users by using branded hashtags like #InvictusGames or #InvictusGames2016. This allowed the community to follow posts and updates from the event and spectators.
Video was a huge component of the digital marketing strategy for the Invictus Games. They generated several videos that included competition highlights, messages from celebrity supports, and profiles of the competitors. But, by and large, the most entertaining and engaged with video was that of the feud between President and Michelle Obama and Prince Harry with a special appearance by the Queen. This sparked a healthy Twitter feud for rival countries that went head to head in some of the competitions. Be careful, mic drops were had in the following video.
One of the biggest lessons that we can learn from the digital marketing efforts of the Invictus Games is that they used humans at the forefront of their campaign. Humans inspire. Humans are relatable. Humans should be the face of your campaign.
All in all, the Invictus Games is an inspiring event that brought a lot of attention to the Orlando area in terms of being a suitable host for large sporting events. Who knows, it may lead to us hosting the Super Bowl in the near future. As far as Orlando digital marketing and basic humanity goes, we can all learn a thing or two from the Invictus Games.