Case Study

Helping Virgin Sport reach their active audience

  • 47K Clicks
  • 22K Entries
  • 5.4 ROAS

Virgin Sport host running and fitness events all around the UK. With just five months to go until the 2019 Hackney Half Marathon and Festival of Fitness, how did Virgin Sport grab the attention of their active audience to pull off a successful event?

What were the main business goals?

Virgin Sport wanted to build awareness for their Hackney Half Marathon and increase the runner entries.

They had 5 months to go before the event and needed a strong paid social campaign to reach the right audience looking for a challenge.

How did Red Hot Penny help Virgin Sport achieve success?

People would need enough time to train for a half marathon, so with just 5 months until the event our Paid team had to act fast to get a campaign up-and-running. And using past experience, the team were able to plan and implement a strategy quickly to maximise entries.

We built granular target audiences and regularly adjusted them using insights data from Facebook and Google Analytics to make sure the traffic was as qualified as possible. Building Lookalike audiences of previous and current entrants was key to optimising budget and increasing entries.

The ads provided a countdown to the event to help build anticipation. We were able to adapt the creative to make sure the ads were timely and accurate.

Throughout the campaign, we also kept in close contact with the Virgin Sport team to react to any updates and changes to do with the event, and to reflect this in ad copy.

What were the results?

The paid social campaign had a total reach of 1.6 million people. It resulted in 47,000 clicks through to the event page and more than 22,000 entries with over 4,000 coming directly through Facebook ads.

Virgin Sport saw a Return on Ad Spend of 5.4 and we continued our partnership by managing paid social campaigns for their Oxford Half Marathon and ASICS London 10K.

marathon runner at virgin sport 10K


The team at Red Hot Penny are extremely attentive and proactive and always searching for ways to improve the client experience. They have excellent paid social expertise and knowledge of digital strategy and platforms. I’d highly recommend Red Hot Penny for a content first approach to social ads.

Head of Marketing, Virgin Sport

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