Eurosport wanted to reaffirm its position as No. 1 cycling broadcaster in Europe with a communications campaign to drive home its new slogan – Eurosport, Home of Cycling – while showcasing the channel’s new comprehensive cycling coverage.
Naturally, this offer was aimed at cycling fans – a target audience more often found outdoors on their bikes than in front of their computer screens.
The main point of this campaign was to reach and draw together the community of cycling enthusiasts across Europe around a shared locus.
Our idea was to target fans right where they are – in the saddle – by setting up the biggest cycling race in the world: The Eurosport Tour virtual race fuelled by the real-life performances of cyclists.
In order to collect participants' data, we brought together Eurosport and Strava, the benchmark in cycling applications. Cyclists on their bikes fed live data into our virtual race, thanks to the information recorded during each of their outings.
This race was open to everyone from amateurs to veterans and professionals. Owning a bike and downloading the Strava app was the only criteria to take part. With everyone linked up, each pedal stroke moved the race forward and everyone contributed to racking up the statistics to ensure this race goes down in history.
Each rider accumulated Vimes, a unit calculated from an algorithm that integrates evenness, speed, time and number of outings, but also includes the number of shares on social networks.
An exceptional prize was on offer to motivate participants. Up for grabs for the winner was a place in the official Eurosport team to ride the 2016 Paris-Roubaix Challenge with cycling legend Juan Antonio Flécha.
Each month participants were automatically entered into intermediate challenges to boost their competitive spirit and motivate riders of all levels to push themselves even harder: the Kilometer challenge, the Climbing challenge and the Best Ride challenge. Winners were rewarded with VIP packages in the official Tour de France, Vuelta cars and Greg Lemond bikes.
The Eurosport Tour site – developed using responsive web design and localised in five languages – was the operation's central platform. It collected data from participants worldwide and allowed them to follow the overall race, track rankings and monitor each individual rider’s progress.
The race was promoted throughout in a major online media campaign on websites, mobile apps and Eurosport and Strava’s social networks, as well as on TV on the Eurosport channels.
After three months of fierce competition, the Eurosport Tour turned out to be a huge success with 37 nations represented, totalling over 12 million kilometres cycled – the equivalent of 311 times around the world, more than 500,000 hours of pedalling, and a total height equivalent to 14,747 ascents of Mount Everest!