Rock’s Amazing Race Fun and Profitable

Students participate in challenges to generate gifts for the Ohio Wesleyan Fund

Students begin the dash to the library to test their research skills. (Photo by Taylor Rivkin ’14)

A joint project of the Annual Giving Office and University Communications, Rock’s Amazing Race lived up to the “amazing” part of its moniker. Eight students in four teams—Purple Team Kyle Herman ’11 and Kale Booher ’12, Green Team Pam Quigney ’11 and Stephanie Literski ’11, Orange Team Alex Bailey ’12 and Chris Marshall ’12, and Blue Team Tyler Cordell ’11 and Kat Enders ’12—ran, swam, cannonballed, completed a library dash that tested their research skills, and persuaded faculty and staff to pose for extensive galleries, all to encourage gifts to the Ohio Wesleyan Fund. On four successive Mondays, the Race released a new challenge video and viewers were invited to vote for their favorite team by liking the team on Facebook—and then to join their race by making their gift to the fund. The comprehensive campaign featured a multi-pronged strategy including:

  • A highly interactive website, where visitors could watch the videos, vote for their favorite teams, view team profiles, and donate to the Ohio Wesleyan Fund
  • A series of promotional emails
  • YouTube and Facebook components
  • Print postcards and mailers

The winners of Rock’s Amazing Race were Bailey and Marshall of the Orange Team, who outpaced the rest of the pack with nearly 350 Facebook likes. In a race, stats are everything, and here’s how Rock’s Amazing Race stacked up:

  • Nearly 1,500 people participated by giving during the Race period. Of those, 250 mentioned the Race as their reason for giving, and their gifts alone totaled more than $75,000.
  • In its first three weeks, the Race contributed a 483 percent dollar increase in online giving and a 121 percent donor increase over the 2009-1010 giving statistics.
  • The campaign received hundreds of shares, likes, and comments, through Facebook, its #1 referring site. All of these resulted in more than a quarter-million impressions, meaning friends of friends were sharing information about the Race.
  • The campaign’s viral lift—the percentage of increase in traffic from shares and clicks—reached 500 percent.

As would be expected in a project bearing his name, Rock Jones was heavily involved in the campaign, serving as host, judge, and as part of some photo galleries. The integrated campaign raised funds, awareness, and OWU’s profile.

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