Every once in a while, we need some fun, creative indulgences to help set ourselves free from our clients’ day to day causes and take time to promote our own. This past year, our creative indulgence was the rebranding and promotion of an event called WINTERSUX. The event is held to raise awareness and funds to support the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation and its annual OneWalk fundraiser. This year, the JDRF OneWalk’s goal is to raise $1,058,500 to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle—and it’s serious and stressful to manage. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D and there is currently no cure. T1D has affected the life of our Development Director, Tom Hutchinson, and the JDRF cause is near and dear to his heart. His father had T1D, and a couple of years ago, his granddaughter, Lily, was diagnosed with it as well. This year’s event honored Lily and her Team Lily fundraiser for the 2020 OneWalk.
While JDRF’s focus is on curing Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), they also pursue new treatments to keep people with T1D healthy until the cure is found. They push for increased government funding for research and work with academia, clinicians, insurers, and regulators to get new therapies and devices to market quickly and safely. Therefore, raising funds is crucial to this effort.
Now in its 4th year, WINTERSUX is a summer-themed event held in the dead of winter. Attendees= come dressed in their summer attire, listen to summer tunes, and party for a cause. Business sponsorships, donated raffle items, split the pot, t-shirt sales, and cash donations are the financial drivers for the event. In addition to the sponsorships, many services were donated to the cause, including a DJ and a venue, while the venue also made a cash donation.
Built upon the fun newly rebranded graphics, website, and social media marketing that Photonics created and deployed, this years’ event filled the room of 300 to capacity with old and new attendees, making this the most successful WINTERSUX event to date.
How We Filled the Room:
We redesigned the WINTERSUX logo to align with the energy behind the brand and event. This new branding provided a platform to build more awareness about the summer-themed event. We also developed a Team Lily logo utilizing JDRF’s messaging, “Help Create a World Without Type 1 Diabetes.” Alongside the message, a posterized image of Lily depicts freedom of the disease once a cure is found. The Team Lily logo was used throughout social media and made an appearance on the back of the WINTERSUX shirts.
We redesigned the WINTERSUX website to align with the new brand and provide history and event information. The website needed to include access to the JDRF Team Lily donation page and the online t-shirt shop. We also used the website to provide recognition to event sponsors and key donors.
We created a social media strategy starting 3 months before the event, utilizing Facebook and Instagram. Our goal was to build a following for WINTERSUX using fun messaging to build anticipation for the event. To do this, we scheduled bi-weekly posts on both platforms to build event awareness. We wanted to build a summer mindset throughout the winter when the weather was less than fun. In addition, we created a Facebook event for further awareness, tracking both our reach and RSVPs.