More Than Just #Sailing

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PUMA uses Tumblr and Instagram to share Volvo Ocean Race experience in Abu Dhabi

#sailing #marmostro…what does that mean to you? Well to 10 selected Tumblr and Instagram users it meant an experience like no other. PUMA, whose boat- a 70 foot race yacht- Mar Mostro is competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, a 39,000-mile race around the world with five other teams, stopping in 10 cities in just nine months, knows that this race is much more than just sailing. And, PUMA provided the rest of the world a taste of what this means by bringing the selected bloggers and photographers to Abu Dhabi, the second of 10 race stopovers, to document and share their experience on their blogs.

“We’ve been exploring how to leverage some of the newer technologies that are out there, ones that are starting to come up…It’s important for us to see what’s next: What’s the next Facebook? What’s going to be Twitter in two years?” said PUMA’s manager of digital business development in the ESPN article PUMA Sends Instagram, Tumblr users to cover race.

Sean Sullivan, blogger of The Impossible Cool, told Mashable (In Sign of the Times, PUMA Sends Bloggers to Cover Sailing Race), “PUMA is kind of going out on a limb spending a nice amount of money and hoping to get something out of this, but the blogs aren’t going anywhere…They’re only getting bigger and better, so the companies that recognize that are going to be the cool companies in the coming years.”

The event was inspired by New York Fashion Week, and came to life when the bloggers and photographers were contacted by PUMA and invited to take a trip to Abu Dhabi to cover the race, events, and experiences they had during their journey through various types of media. While in Abu Dhabi, the bloggers and photographers had “free-roam” access and were invited to sail in the Pro-Am Race onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro. In addition, they visited renowned places and had cultural experiences in Abu Dhabi, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the city of Dubai, art galleries, shops, a camel farm, an off road adventure over dessert sand dunes, stand-up paddle boarding, and a small venue session with the DJ Diplo in the PUMA Social Club.

“Platforms like Instagram and Tumblr offer this neat connection between the more creative/cultural set and like-minded brands such as PUMA…The people who are active on these portals are the PUMA consumer,” Antonio Bertone, PUMA’s chief marketing officer, stated to Advertising Age in Why Brands Like PUMA and GE are Flocking to Instagram.

“Needless to say, PUMA was thinking outside the box on this new approach to brand outreach. PUMA took a chance,” said Brian DiFeo (Instagramer) in Social Fresh article PUMA Adds Instagram and Tumblr To The Blogger Outreach Mix. DiFeo offers three lessons for other brands that may want to expand in new markets and audiences, which are “cast a wide net,” “give bloggers all access,” and “encourage unique and universal tagging.”

As a result of this event, the number of unique impressions was well into the tens of millions.

Where do you go from here? Although PUMA won’t activate the same event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Remi Carlioz, head of PUMA’s digital marketing, told Adweek. “We are not the official sponsor of the Olympics…So we have to find different ways to talk to our current audience but also to reach out to [new] audiences in new ways.”

To share in their experiences and live vicariously through the media check out the group’s Tumblr and Instagram accounts. & &

To follow on Instagram visit:

Instagram: @impossiblecool
Instagram: @frommetoyoujamie
Instagram: @kevinburg
Instagram: @yimmyayo
Instagram: @bridif, @instagramnyc
Instagram: @takinyerphoto
Instagram: @jamesnord
Instagram: @nedhepburn