In December of this past year, ESPN published a racing-inspired story: “Sam Schmidt gives a glimpse into future of mobility,” which told the unforgettable return of ex-IndyCar driver and quadriplegic Sam Schmidt to competition. The story was gripping; Schmidt had lost his passion, love and career in an instant. He thought for years that his racing days were over – until in 2015 when advanced technology would turn the impossible into a surprise reality. CXC Simulations, a DRS and Associates client, played a vital role in making this happen. As a premier full-service marketing and public relations firm, it was our job to get this story covered on the country’s most read media outlets – which is exactly what we executed with the ESPN article.
To put it in perspective, ESPN has over 86 million North American television subscribers and over 72 million unique visitors per month on espn.go.com. Coverage would be a home run for anyone. Most importantly, how did we do this? How does one get coverage on the website of the undisputed leader in multinational, multimedia sports entertainment?
“Just Do It.”
Although the iconic phrase has become a desired mantra in almost every workplace or sporting facility, the phrase often speaks more volume in attempt to inspire than actually creating tangible success. It’s simple: get your facts and thoughts together, don’t hesitate and take action. In 1988, the phrase was first used in a NIKE advertisement that showed 80-year-old Walt Stack running his daily 17 mile jog across the Golden Gate Bridge. While we’re not necessarily pushing our frail, aging body across one of the most famed bridges in the world, it’s always our mantra to “Just Do it.” You might say that it paid off.
We reached out to a high-level executive at ESPN, who also happened to be a Disney Chairman, halfway expecting this request to fly right over his head and into his desktop trash box. To our surprise and excitement, he responded later that evening, intrigued by the story. With a lane wide open, we took advantage and would see to it that the story got published – and of course, with our client CXC Simulations editorially leveraged in the best way possible.
After a few weeks of collaboration, interviews and planning, the story was published on December 26th, 2015. Up until the day before the article went live, we worked directly with the editor and writer of the story, providing them with material and input that would guide its content. You might call it a late Christmas present, but this was no surprise. We simply capitalized, again, on our strong suit – finding the gem of a situation and conveying it in the most efficient and clear way possible. Just do it.