CHICAGO: Tough Mudder, the endurance event series, has successfully created “sticky” engagement with a passionate millennial audience by delivering compelling physical experiences and content plays alike.

Donna Goldsmith, SVP/Partnership Marketing, International Events Licensing, Corporate Sales, Consumer Products and Merchandising at Tough Mudder, discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Brand Activation Conference.

More specifically, she asserted that the brand possesses a unique relationship with an extremely attractive cohort within the wider millennial demographic. “They eat, breathe, and sleep Tough Mudder,” Goldsmith said.

“They're college-educated. They're active. They're adventurous. They're all early adopters of technology.” (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Millennials and Tough Mudder build a global social-media magnet.)

With an average age of 28 years old, the brand’s core base is thus primarily comprised of digital natives, offering a natural route to on-going connectivity.

“It’s no surprise that they spend a ton of time on digital media: We have 5.4 million Facebook followers, [and] we did our first livestream from World's Toughest Mudder in [Las] Vegas this year.”

This event provided a lesson for the brand. According to Goldsmith, “We surprised ourselves. We had a million people viewing from 200 countries. And they stayed on on for five and ten minutes at a time.”

Such figures, she offered the ANA assembly, evidence that Tough Mudder’s millennial fanbase is “really sticky. They're really into the programming.”

And while the brand is able to make a major impression on social media, its reach has extended onto television, too, giving it another path to engagement.

CBS, for example, broadcasts “America’s Toughest Mudder”, “World’s Toughest Mudder”, and “Tough Mudder X – 2017”, with The CW also hosting “The Challenge Within”.

In the UK, Sky TV’s “Mission Mudder” features groups of Olympians participating in six Tough Mudder events. “It's reality-TV-meets-Tough-Mudder,” Goldsmith said.

And the brand’s millennial appeal has also helped it attract many marketing partners since 2010 – a list including Aflac, Amazon, the Coca-Cola Co. and Lucozade. “Our partners really covet the millennial demo,” said Goldsmith.

Data sourced from WARC