Survival of the Fittest: A Frog, A Spartan, and A Mudder
What do a frog, a Spartan, and a mudder all have in common? In the world of fitness obstacle course races (OCR) there are two that have made themselves household names: the Spartan Race and the Tough Mudder, but on December 4, 2015, a new competitor joined the race: the BattleFrog.
BattleFrog, a small obstacle course race company based out of Doral, Florida was able to secure a spot as the sponsor for one of the biggest games in College Football. When the announcement was made that BattleFrog would be sponsoring the Fiesta Bowl, previously sponsored by large companies such as Vizio and Tostitos, every fan was thinking one thing: What the heck is (a) BattleFrog? Apparent that not many people knew of BattleFrog before the announcement, as Google searches for the company increased by nearly 100% the month of the game, BattleFrog’s initiation in brand activation is exactly what we strive for here at Activ8Media.
BattleFrog started in 2013 when three Navy SEALs came together to build an elite obstacle race. A big move for the company came through connections and they were able to secure a large European investor, the Centurion Racing Group. But even with this new investor, how did a small, 30-employee company take on the spotlight in an already established OCR community? Especially with most Bowl Games having sponsorship price tags of 35 million dollars? Well, after the 2014 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Arizona, ESPN had its lowest viewership of the Bowl in 30 years with only 7.4 million viewers. With a lack of sponsorship offers after that depressing year, ESPN held what economists dub a “fire sale”. Basically, they needed a way to sell sponsorships and quick, so they had to sell at a discounted price. Experts estimate that the BattleFrog sponsorship cost the company a mere 3-5 billion dollars (given a sponsorships usual $35 million price tag). It also didn’t hurt that two of the most historic and popular teams, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Ohio State Buckeyes, happened to be playing in the Fiesta Bowl the year BattleFrog struck this deal.
Since their first year, holding six races in 2014, the company has seen some impressive growth with 15 races held in 2015 and 44 races slated for 2016 nationwide. With a bit of luck and an incredible brand activation strategy, BattleFrog is a company to keep an eye on as they are making their way towards categorizing themselves as a “big three” obstacle course race, not only towards the top of their industry, but towards the top of a growing market as well.
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