History has been made. In an extraordinary performance, Eliud Kipchoge has broken the last barrier in modern athletics by completing 26.2 miles in 01:59:40. As well as his own personal achievement, Eliud and the #NoHumanIsLimited ambassadors have, and continue to, inspire people across the globe to break their own barriers and realise that with self-belief, anyone can make the impossible, possible.
Eliud felt passionately that the attempt should not only celebrate an individual achievement, nor should its legacy lie simply in the development of sport, he was determined to spread his mantra, No Human Is Limited, to a wider audience.
Our role at Into the Blue was twofold; brand creation, event promotion, graphics and hospitality for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge as well managing the #NoHumanIsLimited campaign. To ensure harmony between the two, we invited eight motivational figures to pledge their support, not only to Eliud, but to a legacy campaign promoting self-belief. These ambassadors capitalised on their influence and social following to maximise the exposure of the campaign, ensuring a range of follower bases were covered.
Having carefully selected our ambassadors, we, at Into the Blue, pitched, briefed, organised photoshoots and filming, shared messaging and managed engagement of each ambassador individually. Although all eight are high profile figures, it was vital to the campaign to convey their humanity, they have each experienced their own challenges and it is through self-belief and perseverance that they have achieved greatness. The ambassadors absorbed the messaging and the resulting content was genuine and relevant, sparking an unprecedented response from fans. An organic community focusing on shared experiences started to form and it was extremely rewarding to be able to share these inspirational stories with Eliud.
Having witnessed the initial response and eager for engagement to continue, we issued a call to action, encouraging fans to share their own stories, not only inspire Eliud but to promote a positive platform of encouragement surrounding the messaging of the campaign. We monitored the reaction closely and invited a range of fans to allow us to share their stories to our wider platform. The response to these #NoHumanIsLimited fan stories was extremely positive, engagement statistics increased along with the quality of feedback.
To ensure that the campaign remained accessible, we utilised our in-house graphics team to bring the stories to life and create powerful yet relatable social posts that captured the essence of the messaging. Our extensive social media calendar guaranteed that the content was both regular and varied. Using analytics tools, we were able to monitor engagement and understand the location, habits and interest of our followers.
While our social channels received strong engagement and positive feedback, we were aware that a strong proportion of the following was from the running community. To expand our reach, we approached social influencers across a range of channels to share our content. The following of these influencers all had a link to our #NoHumanIsLimited campaign whether it be through sport, education, wellness or the power of the human mind and it was fantastic to be able to share news of this historic event with people who may have otherwise not been aware.
Alongside the engagement on social media, we created tailored media sell ins to pitch news of the event and the #NoHumanIsLimited campaign to various news outlets, both print and digital. To utilise the varied geographical locations and interests of our ambassadors, we contacted regional papers, national publications, as well as sport specific magazines and newsletters to reach an audience that perhaps would not have engaged on social channels. As race day approached, we assisted news outlets with collecting the relevant content, including answers to Q&As.
Alongside managing the ongoing social campaign, the Into the Blue team were deployed to Vienna to assist with varied roles from social media management, media ops, hospitality and graphic design during the event. On arrival to the Prater, the setting for Eliud’s run, the extent of the graphic work undertaken by Into the Blue was evident. The branding lined not only the entire course, but the start and finish gantries, VIP and VVIP hospitality tents, the media centre and an abundance of fan merchandise. Our in-house graphic designers supported the live event coverage through digital media channels. Alongside the graphics work, the team assisted with the general media management of the event, press related queries and hospitality.
Our ambassadors included; four time Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, the greatest Olympic Sailor in history, Sir Ben Ainslie, long distance runner, Abdi Nageeye, alpine ski legend Hermann Maier, Arsenal’s invincible Captain and current Manager of OCG Nice, Patrick Viera, Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, founder of the ground-breaking campaign, The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie and INEOS 1:59 Challenge sports and performance scientist Robby Ketchell. Each ambassador has their own inspiring story of triumph through struggle and their engagement on the campaign has both facilitated a large follower base and helped to demonstrate the link between attitude and success that Eliud believes so strongly in.
On Saturday 12th October, at a public event in The Prater, Vienna, Eliud defied expectation and completed a marathon faster than ever before, breaking his own record previously set at 02:00:25. The result not only represents a historical sporting moment but it showcases the power of the human mind to overcome challenges, feeding into the strong messaging of the #NoHumanIsLimited campaign and proving what is achievable when limits are pushed. Eliud’s legacy will inspire a global audience to believe in the unbelievable and realise that they are can go beyond the barriers in their mind.