9 June 2017
The mile is a distance steeped in British history. Looking through landmark moments you'll find black and white photographs of a tall and wiry Sir Roger Bannister famously hurtling around the Iffey Road athletics tracks in Oxford. It was in 1954 that Bannister set a new universal standard for human speed and endurance and stunned the world by recording the first sub four minute mile.
Fast forward to 1985. The Jarrow Arrow, Steve Cram, posts a new world record for the distance crossing the finish line in 3min 46sec. More than 30 years on, this record has stood the test of time in Britain and Europe, solidifying Cram's place as one of the UK’s greatest ever middle distance runners.
So it was natural partnership when Brandnation’s Sport PR Team enlisted the services of Steve Cram to support a new running campaign for its client Wiggle.com, the leading trisports online retailer. #MyMile is a collaboration between wiggle.com and the social network for athletes, Strava. This month, #MyMile encourages runners to post their best mile on Strava for a chance to win one of 100 pairs of running shoes provided by wiggle.com.
Brandnation's Sport PR and social media campaign aims to inspire a renaissance in the mile distance for runners. It has spent recent years in the shadow of longer distances such as the 5km and 10km, as glamourised by the likes of Mo Farah, whilst another hurdle the mile distance has had to clear is the change in conversion, from imperial to metric, but times are a changing. The campaign objective for June is to encourage runners to submit their personal best mile times.
To support the campaign and to inspire runners of all abilities, some of the country's pre-eminent running writers from titles such as The Guardian and Runner's World were invited to Parliament Hill athletics track in North London for a one-to-one mile masterclass with Steve. The journalists were guided through the steps of how to improve their mile personal best by the running legend. The session culminated in an attempt to beat their personal best as they were coached and encouraged by Steve. Media were also provided with interview time to learn more about the campaign and gain expert running tips.
Branded photography and video was captured to create a set of assets to support the campaign across PR and social media. Capturing a runner of Steve's calibre in Wiggle branded running gear validated the endorsement and underlined the brand's running credentials.
Brandnation’s Sport Team also conducted a Q&A on the history and future of the mile as well collating Steve's top running tips. This was seeded to national, specialist and consumer media following the event. To further amplify the partnership with Steve events throughout the day were captured.