March 27th, 2017

Video Marketing for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon

by Christine Hennessey

The Wrightsville Beach Marathon is an annual event that takes place in Wilmington, NC over the course of one March weekend.

The festivities include a full marathon, a half marathon, a marathon relay, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K, and a 1 mile fun run. Founded in 2009, the race has been growing steadily since then, selling out earlier and earlier each year and drawing huge crowds to the shores of North Carolina.


Sage Island has been handing the digital marketing for this event for several years. While we were proud of our efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we knew keeping this race on the minds of runners everywhere meant ensuring our approach stayed fresh, modern, and engaging. We also had to find new ways to show the unique and fun things the Wrightsville Beach Marathon offers. Wilmington, NC is a very fit city, with many opportunities to compete in athletic events. To net the largest number of registrants, we needed to change things up.


To help Wrightsville Beach Marathon register more people for their event, Sage Island created a video marketing campaign.

Video marketing has become a key content marketing channel. Per a recent study, over 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day, and 82% of Twitter uses watch videos in their feeds. Video also offers consistently high engagement, capturing the attention of users like nothing else.

To take advantage of these stats and this technology, the marketing team at Sage Island created a video marketing campaign to highlight the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. We decided the series would star Tom Clifford, the race director. Tom is an outgoing and friendly person who also happens to be an incredibly talented runner and a natural in front of the camera.

We created a series of questions about the race for Tom to answer. The catch? He’s answer them while he was on his weekly long run. This would be much more engaging that a stationary, static camera shot, and it was more on brand—a race director never rests, after all. While the actual filming was outsourced, the concept, questions, and content came directly from Sage Island. 


The videos were filmed over the course of a few days, then cut into short, one-minute long videos. Sage Island’s digital marketing team created Facebook advertising campaigns around the videos, promoting each new installment with great success. Thanks to razor sharp targeting and the accompanying copy, engagement was high and cost-per-view was pennies.

With a brief intro, a catchy soundtrack, and a charismatic race director, this video marketing campaign achieved our goals of building excitement around the Wrightsville Beach Marathon while adding a big dose of personality to the event.

See the stats for yourself:

  • 20 videos filmed and shared between October 2016 and February 2017
  • Total Video Views: 36,073
  • Total Video Reach: 73,997

And check out some of the videos below:

Topic: Tips for First Timers

Topic: Pre & Post Race Events

It's more than a message in a bottle.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get all the latest from the island sent right to your inbox