In 2017, YETI wanted to work with a partner who could create authentic moments and tell stories in a very “YETI way.”
It was important to connect the YETI DNA with Bleacher Report’s social community. Like YETI, B/R is focused on engaging fans through incredible stories with a human element; that is what the Bye Week series represents.
By combining B/R’s storytelling and connection to sports with YETI’s product and brand attributes, we engaged with the B/R audience and broaden YETI’s reach beyond the sportsman-focused target.
Together, Bleacher Report and YETI partnered to create authentic stories that truly connected with our social community.
In 2016, Eddie Bauer sought to inspire their networks to explore and adventure while introducing Eddie Bauer as the outfitter of choice.
With Instagram emerging as a platform to ignite adventure and find inspiration, Eddie Bauer launched paid three-month campaigns with hand-picked Instagram influencers that aligned with their goal.
Backbone vetted influencers, hosted kick-off summits in adventure-inspiring locations like Santa Fe and Yosemite national park, set contract requirements, and recorded and analyzed all of the metrics. The 2016 programs ran as three-month campaigns, twice a year, with 12 hand-picked Instagram influencers.
Eddie Bauer’s first social influencer program sparked a conversation not just about product, but about the brand’s relevance in the great outdoors. Coverage for the program and the influencers appeared in SELF, Playboy, Outside, SNEWS and Gear Patrol.
Gerber Gear was launching a product in a category dominated by a single competitor. They needed to cut through the noise and get their name in the multi-tool market.
Backbone leveraged platform-optimized video and notable press hits and accolades to grow awareness and drive sales of Gerber’s highly anticipated Center-Drive multi-tool release.
Backbone targeted users on YouTube and Facebook through a combination of credit card buyer files, interest groups, and Google preset audiences for those in the market for tools and home-improvement instruction. We closed the loop with branded/competitive search and remarketing to video viewers with notable press hits.
Amazon sold through Gerber Center-Drive inventory in the first week of the campaign, and increased following order volume by 30%.
“It broke the business…”
—Andrew Gritzbauch, Gerber
Chaco wanted to reach beyond their core consumer and speak to a more urban consumer.
Because Chaco is less well known to the urban consumer than the outdoor enthusiast, they partnered with Refinery29 to create an authentic connection to this new audience. Refinery29 created a shoppable custom content piece that drove traffic to Chaco’s site and lead to product conversions.
Chaco reached a new audience with their Refinery29 partnership and saw a strong return on their ad spend.
YETI wanted to work with a partner who could create authentic moments and tell stories in a very “YETI way.”
Backbone partnered with Bon Appétit to sponsor the “It's Alive” series with Brad Leone, the test kitchen manager.
Backbone had one fully integrated episode and brought in Rodney Scott, a pit master in South Carolina and friend of YETI, to BBQ a full pig. The episode launched mid-day on May 21, 2018.
The episode was the #1 trending video on YouTube in the first 24 hours after its launch (a record for the series and for Bon Appétit), and remained the #5 trending video after 48 hours.
With the launch of its HPA "Hemperor” beer, New Belgium Brewing was highlighting its sustainability practices with media outlets including NPR. The popular podcast “How I Built This” with Guy Raz fortuitously reached out at this time to record a live episode with New Belgium founder Kim Jordan.
Backbone’s PR team was NPR’s point of contact throughout the preparatory, research, fact-checking and pre-show chemistry-check processes. The live event in Boulder, Colorado completely sold out and the episode has seen more than 700,000 downloads thus far.
After the episode launched, Backbone’s paid media team for New Belgium drove downloads by embedding the episode on New Belgium’s website and running a paid social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram. The paid campaign targeted audiences familiar with New Belgium and/or interested in the episode’s thematic points.
Black Diamond, a 20-year client of Backbone Media, has a diverse offering of winter-oriented outdoor products. Backbone was responsible for gaining across-the-board coverage in Outside’s 2018 Winter Gear Guide.
Backbone’s PR team effectively pitched Black Diamond’s best winter gear with a targeted, authentic and informed strategy, ensuring accurate and comprehensive coverage.
Backbone landed Black Diamond gear on six lists in the 2018 Gear Guide, with the Boundary Pro 107 skis featuring on the magazine’s cover.
Alpacka Raft’s products are in an ultra-niche category: packrafting, a combination of backpacking and rafting. In order to grow the business, packrafting itself needs to grow in size.
Backbone’s team for Alpacka Raft pitched the brand’s inspiring founder story to Forbes in order to reach a broader, non-endemic audience and help grow interest in both packrafting and Alpacka.
Backbone won a major placement in Forbes for Alpacka Raft: “How The Mother-Son Team Behind Alpacka Built Packrafts And Helped Launch A Sport That Didn't Exist”
In Tingey’s view, the biggest challenge they’ve faced hasn’t been sales or production - it’s been building up the sport itself. Tingey likens producing packrafts to producing athletic footwear. For a new company coming into the footwear industry, the primary task is to create a niche out of an already existing customer base. As Alpacka was the first major company to bring packrafts to consumers, they had no existing customer base from which to find buyers. Despite the uphill challenge of raising awareness of the rafts and packrafting as a sport, Tingey thinks Alpacka Raft's best tool for reaching new customers hasn't been advertising of sponsorships - it's been word of mouth, literally. “Someone is in the backcountry somewhere, by a lake or river,” says Tingey “and they see someone float by in one of our rafts, so they yell ‘what is that?’ And the customer yells ‘it’s an Alpacka’ as they go floating by.”