Marc Ecko, founder of the urbanwear behemoth that dons his name, has definitely pushed the envelope in marketing.
Probably his most famous "campaign" was when he bought Barry Bonds record-setting home run ball for almost $750,000. He set-up a web site and asked people what he should do with the ball:
• Give it to Baseball Hall of Fame
• Send it to the Hall with an asterisk cut into it – signifying that Bonds' record was tainted by suspicion of steroids
• Blast it into space
In the March issue of Inc. magazine Ecko's online voting booth was explained: "Dominating the blogosphere and landing on newspaper front pages everywhere, the campaign garnered millions of dollars' worth of publicity and reinforce the edgy, youthful image of the brand."
Mark Ecko didn't just step outside the box, he catapulted himself out of it.
I share this story, because it indirectly inspired me to do something radical on behalf of e-Partners in Giving and our mantra of "never stop giving back."
We are in COMPLETELY different leagues, but when I decided to Twitter after every mile of the Cowtown Half Marathon, Ecko's rational for the Bonds' stunt were echoing in my head. (No pun intended.)
"It was a ridiculous idea, so people would say 'Why would you do that?' I thought, take the hard news and make it go American Idol. It was a social experiment. It was a little P.T. Barnum." – Marc Ecko
I was going to be running anyway. I thought I might as well use this new social media phenomenon to spread the word about a non-profit that has launched an all-out assault on my heartstrings and the company that I've poured my blood, sweat, and tears into.
The best part of the story...it wasn't going to cost me one penny. (Just a few seconds off my overall pace.)
I didn't land on "newspaper front pages everywhere," but people were paying attention – I received well-wishes from runners across the country and Facebook friends were making comments throughout the day.
The Fort Worth Start Telegram picked up on the story and sent out a Twitter message to its followers, as well as the NBC affiliate in DFW.
To be honest ... it was just a lot of fun to do something different and off-the-wall. Like Ecko said in the magazine interview, "...it's something I need to do more of."
I wanted to share the entire thread with all of you who weren't glued to your computers this weekend. I've also included some pre- and post-race photos captured by my wife. (I guess I was running too fast, because she couldn't find me on the course.)• Pre-race I….reminder, running Cowtown Half today & sending out tweet at every mile to raise awareness for Back on My Feet.
• Pre-race II….15 minutes to start; shout out to some fellow tweep runners @sdhedman @smullican @saramartisek @Mmarts.
(starting to shed clothes)
• Pre-race III….10 minutes to start – very windy; a lot of trips to porta-potty.
(representing with the homemade T-shirt)
• Pre-race IV….5 minutes to start; more shout outs @jenamn @thedailyrunner @SiobhanBulfin @virtual4now @MichelleDewbs.
• Mile 1... DONE! Tons of runners...weather is awesome (a little cool, but perfect for a 13.1-mile jaunt).
• Mile 2...Current pace 8:40 (a little slow, but too many people to turn on the jets.)
• Mile 3...thanks to everyone who supported Back on My Feet with a donation http://www.epartnersingiving.com/drewmyers.
• Mile 4....for more info on Back on My Feet www.backonmyfeet.org; Tweet @20in24.
• Mile 5....feeling strong w/ 8.1 miles to go...pack has thinned out; easier to breath and run now.
• Mile 6....this is my third time to run Cowtown (ran full marathon first 2 times); HOPEFULLY cramps not a problem this time.
• Mile 7...using this as a training run for April 25th Country Music Marathon in Nashville (trying to break 4 hours)
• Mile 8....if I can break 4 hours in Nashville, I can mark No. 41 off my list http://drew101list.blogspot.com/
• Mile 9.... still feeling strong....pacing 8:20 overall (I love running with other people).
• Mile 10…a lot of comments about my T-shirt: “Bring Back on My Feet to Fort Worth.”
• Mile 11…all down hill from here, right? Shout out to Tweep @DianneSanLuis for making donation.
• Mile 12....thanks to all Facebookers who supported my run with a donation to BOMF.
(homestretch – no tweets until the finish line)
• Mile 13....DONE! What a GREAT experiment!
•Post race I...what an interesting experiment. It was actually pretty fun. Definitely made 13.1 miles FLY by. I feel GREAT!
• Post race 2 (final) Thanks to everyone who supported my run. Raised $641 for BOMF in just 5 days – never stop giving back.