#itsgreatoutthere achieves great exposure out there

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has welcomed the success of its first consumer facing communications campaign. Through a sustained collaborative effort, outdoor brands and retailers across Europe have secured a high level of exposure for ‘#itsgreautoutthere’.

Designed to raise awareness of, and participation in, outdoor activities among the general public, the campaign was coordinated by the EOG and built up to the first European Week of Sport in September, when Outdoor was one of four key focus topics.

#itsgreatoutthere was a three stage social media competition that concluded with a public vote.  During its course, it encouraged members of the public to share comments, photos and videos on social media platforms, using a series of hashtags.  EOG member companies supplied over €20,000 worth of outdoor product prizes for the competitions.  The tracked reach was over seven million people, but thanks to leverage by major brands and retailers the overall figure is expected to be in the region of between 15 and 20 million people, with both figures comfortably exceeding the campaign’s expectations.

John Jansen, EOG president, comments: “Driving participation in outdoor activities is a key EOG priority and I am delighted that we had so much support for this campaign from our membership and the wider outdoor community.  That really helped us to reach and engage with a huge audience in a positive way and I would like to thank everybody involved.”

As well as providing prizes, outdoor brands and retailers used their own social media networks to spread the word and create a buzz around #itsgreatoutthere.  In addition, leading outdoor athletes played a key role in engaging with the public and the open nature of the campaign encouraged support from a wide variety of sources.  Led by a senior advisory group made up of companies including Sport 2000, The North Face, Marmot, Fjällräven, Merrel and Ortlieb, the campaign was delivered by EOG marketing and communications manager Mathias Basedow.

Basedow comments: “The success of the campaign is a testament to the idea.  We did not have a major budget or preparation time, but we knew that the right approach from the start was to ‘walk the talk’.  Everyone involved - including the freelance network around our lead agency, fastnormal, and partners from retailers and brands – immediately understood the concept, which made it easy for them to share our vision.  I am convinced that the genuine nature of the campaign was key to its success, and that this is just the beginning.”

The advisory group will meet again at this year’s European Outdoor Summit to plan the next steps in the EOG’s ongoing project to strengthen outdoor participation.

The results of #itsgreatoutthere were shared with decision makers in Brussels during the first European Week of Sport (EWOS), when the outdoors featured as one of only four key themes, with a dedicated focus day.  Outdoor Ambassador for EWOS, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, met European commissioner Tibor Navracics during the opening ceremony and EOG general secretary Mark Held, hosted a workshop titled “Access to sport and physical activity across social groups and spaces” at the week’s flagship event.

Feedback from the outdoor related content during EWOS was very positive and the EOG succeeded in establishing additional links with important policymakers and stakeholders.

Mark Held comments: “We were very pleased that our contribution became such an integral part of the first European Week of Sport and we will continue to support movements like this that promote physical activity.  The EOG is grateful to the European Commission, the European Parliament and current presidency for their belief in the high economic and social value of sport.”