Tribal Series

Para Tri

A competitive edge for a community event

Challenge

70% of the UK’s 12m disabled population wanted to do more sport, but didn’t have an outlet. The first Tribal Series Para Tri provided that opportunity: a mass participation event in which disabled and non-disabled people could compete together.

The event needed a launch campaign that grabbed the attention and drove sign ups by addressing any barriers that could stop people from entering.

Approach

It was important that participants didn’t feel patronised, and realised that this was a competitive event just for them – not a bolt on to an able-bodied event. The creative therefore focused on bold messaging and imagery which made this clear from the beginning.

Mass participation was the overall theme, extending to social media campaigns and even to the way the event was organised: suggestions from potential participants who had seen the campaign led to new challenges (the half Para Tri Relay), modified equipment and a buddy scheme, all of which helped to break down more barriers to participation and contribute to an event that grew a community from the ground up.

Results

The inaugural Para Tri attracted 300 participants, with ages ranging from 3 to 68. Of these, most had never done anything like it before, and 94% rated the event as Excellent (the other 6% as Good).

But beyond the success of the day, it represented a turning point for disabled participants in the UK. It provided an online focus for a community. In July and August it had over 1000 Twitter mentions, impressions of over 13,000 and nearly 13,000 profile visits, many of these driven by the 11 30-minute TV slots the event secured across Channel 4, Sky Sports and British Eurosport.

Perhaps most important of all is the impact the event has had on disabled sport in the UK: as a direct result of Para Tri, British Triathlon has rewritten the rules of non-elite participation in paratriathlon.