Zwift, the fitness company born from gaming, is changing the way athletes work out. Many Zwifters enjoy training and competing with friends in this unique indoor setting in addition to their outdoor rides and runs. Through Strava clubs, challenges and sponsored integrations, Zwift created a modern media plan and drove hundreds of thousands of additional visitors to zwift.com.
“The sponsored integration concept has been proven and it’s already yielding great results for our business.”
Zwift saw Strava as a key partner to help grow its business. Many Strava athletes were already Zwifters, but there were millions more who had not yet heard of or grasped what Zwift was about.
Zwift knew many new customers were coming from Strava and sought to speed up the process. Enter sponsored integrations, which allow athletes’ followers to learn more about the products their friends are using. When a Zwifter posts a virtual ride, Strava’s API integration automatically pulls in a unique image from their game into their Strava activity. Below the image sits an unobtrusive banner that links to a Zwift landing page where athletes can download the app.
The integration allows athletes to become authentic advocates for Zwift and their friends to discover a new product from people they know and trust. Zwift quickly saw increased exposure, website traffic and new member signups.
Zwift views Strava as a key driver for awareness and engagement among existing Zwifters as well as prospects. The company uses sponsored challenges to build excitement for new product releases. In February 2018, the 10-in-10 Challenge launched in concert with Zwift Running. Over 55,000 athletes joined the challenge, which educated athletes on the benefits of virtual activities. Zwift promotes challenges on their Strava club as well as their social channels, celebrating athlete progress along the way and counting down the days left to finish. By Zwift’s second challenge, 20% of participants were uploading virtual activities.
Challenges inspire athletes to get out there and do what they love and are especially effective when the prize is motivating and integrated with the experience. The Alpe du Zwift challenge in April 2018 rewarded its 77,000+ participants with a climbing-focused training plan designed by a top coach and the chance to win a new Wahoo KICKR Climb. These rewards were highly relevant to the Zwift community and winners expressed their excitement to friends and followers.
Keeping the community top of mind has always been the focus. The team created three Strava clubs focused on cycling, running, and triathlon, respectively. To build an engaged audience, Zwift posted a steady stream of fun and interesting content, including group rides and runs, training plans and new product features. Over 68,000 people have joined the clubs and participation is high: 50% of club members have engaged with at least one post. CEO Eric Min notes, “One thing we see across the board on Strava is that the engagement rates on clubs around any post or activity is far higher than we’d typically see on Facebook or any other type of social platform.”