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Colorado Colfax Marathon Poster

Post-News Colorado Colfax Marathon | Special Event

Colfax Makes a Comeback

The Challenge
Call it coincidence--or destiny. Known formerly as “America’s Main Street,” Colfax Avenue had fallen on hard times. But the once-famous street still filled a key role in the Denver metro area, as it stretched 26.2 miles--a marathon length--from Aurora to Denver to Lakewood.

Leaders from those three cities knew that redeveloping Colfax would be key to the long-term health of the community. As they considered the thoroughfare, they landed on an ambitious strategy that had rarely been tried—staging a marathon to foster regional support for economic and community development. Then, they hired MGA to lead communications for the critical inaugural year.

The MGA Solution
MGA developed a comprehensive marketing and public relations program with a strong emphasis on grassroots outreach along the race route.

To drive race registration and recruit volunteers for the event, MGA worked with local media to create a television spot, newspaper supplement and ads. MGA also designed race brochures, Website content and posters in English and Spanish and created a comprehensive database of more than 500 athletic and community groups. The members of those groups received regular electronic bulletins about registering and training for the race.

To build support for the long-term redevelopment of Colfax as well, MGA created materials and trained presenters for a speakers bureau. MGA also placed articles in homeowner association newsletters and targeted direct mailings to business and religious groups along the race route.

Finally, the team identified story lines that put a face on the race and illustrated the importance of the redevelopment effort. MGA pitched those stories and coordinated interviews with athletes, business owners and race officials. The strategy proved successful, as MGA credentialed more than 60 media reporters prior to the event and garnered front-page coverage on both Denver dailies.

At the End of the Day

The marathon exceeded its race registration and volunteer recruitment goals and established itself as a new Colorado tradition that draws attention each to the revitalization of Colfax.

Key Results

  • Leading up to the race, 97 print stories and 57 broadcasts were generated about inaugural marathon and heritage and redevelopment of Colfax.
  • MGA secured 30 race-day print stories, including coverage on both front pages of the Denver dailies, and 13 race-day broadcasts on five televisions stations.
  • MGA coordinated a total of 52 presentations about the marathon to neighborhood and community organizations.

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