This morning, I completed a 45-minute Tabata ride on my Peloton spinning bike. These rides, designed for twice as much effort time as recovery, have caused many to stop, cry, puke, or not even attempt them.
Minutes later, I learned that Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run the 26.2 mile marathon distance in under two hours.
Of course, these two events aren’t comparable – I didn’t make history (but I also didn’t throw up) – but there is an important commonality when you consider the power of achievement.
As I wrote in my The Art of Digital Persuasion book, marketers have been wise to tap into moments that at first might seem as unrelated.
In 2017, Nike created Breaking2, an attempt for elite athletes to break the two-hour barrier for running a marathon. The number of people tuning in to the live stream on Twitter was nearly eight times higher than the broadcast audience of the New York, Boston and Chicago marathons. In total, 13.1 million watched the attempt live via Twitter, making it the company’s largest brand-powered, live-streaming event.
“It was cool because you saw all the tweets from the people who are watching on Twitter, “ Stacy Minero, Global Head of Twitter ArtHouse, told me. “And then you have this curated timeline where you had all these journalists and sports broadcasters weighing in minute by minute, weighing in on what was happening on screen.
“Breaking2 created a sense of urgency. I would say also anticipation because there's an outcome -- either the marathon record will be broken or not. You are driving tune in around this anticipation. They also used Twitter Tools. You can ‘heart’ to get a reminder when the race is going live or when key moments were happening.”
While you may never run at record pace or even get on a spinning bike and do what you believe isn’t possible, there is still lots to learn and apply from what occurred this morning.