• aprillethomas

Creating PR Campaigns that stand out - Case Study: Motorsport Island

Barbados takes over Miami Speed Week - Welcome to Motorsport Island!

Launching in Miami

When your client is offered a major opportunity to partner with a global brand, you don't say no. So when we heard that Miami Speed Week was taking place to support the first ever Formula 1 Race Day in Miami, we couldn't pass up the opportunity for destination Barbados to be in the faces of thousands of motorsport fans.

But it wasn't enough to just take some photos of Barbados and tell people about its beauty. We needed a hook, an angle, something sexy that would pique their interest. That's when I had the idea what if a sexy beach escape filled with fun and frolic, meets the hot, steamy action of the race track? Welcome to Motorsport Island.

From there, the idea grew. Rather than just promoting the destination, or its packed motorsport calendar, we would showcase a lifestyle. Motorsport fans worldwide are known for being high net worth individuals and discerning travelers accustomed to finer things in life. We would show them how Barbados is the perfect combination of a luxurious and pampered holiday, with the peppery action and adventure of motorsports.

At our Barbados booth at Bayfront Park for Miami Speed Week, we showcased the thrills of motorsport in Barbados using virtual reality headsets. Fans dove right into the action before exploring other Barbadian holiday experiences like snorkeling with the turtles or lounging by the sea. By the booth, fans also got to snap a pic with girls in gorgeous Kadooment Day costumes ahead of the Crop Over Festival returning in August 2022. And to seal the deal, VIP guests got a taste of a Barbados holiday with local dishes specially prepared by a Barbadian chef. All of this destination immersion happened against the backdrop of the Miami Grand Prix, with its captive audience.

From Miami Speed Week to Rally Barbados

Fast forward three weeks and the first motorsport event since the COVID-19 hiatus, Rally Barbados, kicked off on the island. Now, with an anchor for all of our motorsport storytelling, we were able to frame the exciting activities around this strong narrative of a Motorsport Island, including social grabs with Barbados' very own F3 race star, Zane Maloney (video below).

The results

All of our social media and the website www.motorsportisland.org launched during Miami Speed Week, with record unique visits in that weekend alone. Visitors at Miami Speed Week who scanned the barcode at our booth, got the chance to win a trip to Barbados to experience Motorsport Island for themselves. After entering the sweepstakes, they were pushed to the website to learn more about Barbados and invited to receive inbox updates tailored to their interests.

Tips for PR pros

The key to creating a successful PR campaign is to ask yourself, what do you want people to feel? Excitement? Curiosity? Pride? Then, lean on the resources and infrastructure already in place that they identify with in this case, Barbados already has a strong brand resonance for being a premier holiday destination; and it also has established itself as a motorsports hub with the only FIA grade track in the Caribbean region and a packed motorsport calendar. We simply brought these two aspects together to create a narrative that's both aspirational for visitors, and gratifying for Barbadians.

My advice? Don't go trying to reinvent the wheel. Stay true to your roots, build on the brand's USPs, and most importantly... be creative! With those tools in your belt, you can most definitely create PR campaigns that stand out.

Yours creatively,


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