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Strategy & Background
The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill marks a new chapter for the State's rich horse and equestrian tradition. One of only two 5 Star events in the United States, and seventh worldwide, the prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*) designation is the pinnacle of the sport of Eventing, best described as an equestrian triathlon. Knowing that the event has been well attended by Equestrian enthusiasts, MPR was tasked with growing awareness for the Maryland 5 Start and the sport of Eventing to a wider general event-goer audience, particularly in Baltimore and the surrounding Counties. MPR developed a comprehensive earned, owned and paid media campaign focused on our strong media relationships to drive awareness in key markets and ultimately drive ticket sales across the four days of the event.
Our tactics included:
- A targeted media outreach plan using compelling pitches and a cadence of announcements to drive credibility and secure consistent media coverage leading up to the event.
- Creation of a unique media day in the Baltimore market where we took Eventing athletes - rider & horse - to the local television stations for a visual and interactive interview opportunity.
- Development & execution of strategic media buy encompassing digital, television, radio, print, and outdoor, using a mix of tactics to reach the target audience in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Development & execution of email marketing strategy, along with handling messaging and deployment of the emails
- Media preview day on the Wednesday before the 4-day event to give media early access to the event.
- Proactive media relations efforts before and during the event, including the credentialing process, encouraging media attendance by both trade and mainstream media, and managing the press center onsite.
- General event attendance grew by 18% compared to 2022
- A total of 101 broadcast and online (print/digital) stories garnered
- Secured coverage across all four Baltimore TV stations throughout the campaign (WMAR, WBAL, WBFF and WJZ), through various pitching efforts.
- Secured multiple radio interviews on top news-talk radio station WBAL Radio and with WDEL Radio in Wilmington, Delaware, the region’s top news and information station.
- Deployed 37 email campaigns resulting in 195,233 total opens for a 47% Open Rate and 12,734 clicks to the website resulting in a 2.5% click-through-rate (CTR).
- Over 25 Million paid media impressions generated through advertising campaigns and media partners.