Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont approached South African sports production agency MoonSport to cover his Artemis World Cycle, which he recently completed, breaking the Guinness World Record for circumnavigation by bicycle in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes. The record was previously held by Andrew Nicholson, a speed skating Olympian from New Zealand who managed the feat in 123 days in 2015.
After meeting CEO Philip Key and MD Trent Key of MoonSport, Beaumont said he felt he’d met a media partner with the same amount of passion and vision. “Rather than talking about the 'if', the conversation was immediately about the 'when' and the 'how'."
Needless to say, they couldn’t turn down the challenge of such a complex, global production. “Being part of a team that breaks a world record offers a sense of achievement like no other,” says Key. “Professional sportsmen don’t get to where they are easily and our team had to match that intense commitment.”
Without going into all the detail, the team’s coverage included a global social media campaign as well as a documentary. "Creating daily content over 80 days led to a total global viewership of over 5 million views on Facebook and YouTube off a fan base of Mark’s 40,000 fans. With his fan base growing daily it meant that the majority of them were coming back daily to follow his progress.
“This campaign has shown us that the impossible is actually quite possible, and that social media is a truly a powerful tool if content is engaging, organic and interesting.”
Here, he answers some of our burning questions…
Firstly, what was it like to witness and document such an accomplishment?
It was an unbelievable and privileged experience. As a company we wake up daily wanting to create sports content that audiences engage with and come back wanting more, and this ticked all the boxes. As a recreational cyclist I understood the challenge that Mark Beaumont had in front of him and it was nothing short of unbelievable.
Mention some of the challenges and how you overcame these.
MoonSport needed to provide a two-man crew that would need to execute various roles that would traditionally be managed by a large team of personnel. The crew travelling with the team needed to be the first team up in the morning and the last team to bed at night. Between Helmut and Johnny they were able to film stills, edit, do graphics, fly drones and direct among many other skill sets. Once the content was edited on the road we had a social media team headed up by Emanuel Ferreira, active 24/7 in South Africa as different time zones needed to be accounted for.
What were your standouts?
Being at the finish line in Paris with Mark and the team and coming across the line together. Watching the fan engagement online of Mark’s journey unfold and how the public were engaged daily leading to over 5 million views with close to 100% positive sentiment.
What did Beaumont approaching MoonSport mean for the agency and SA?
It showed that South Africa has world-class, leading content production facilities and companies that can take on the most challenging productions worldwide.
Where and when can one watch the full documentary?
We are in the process of looking for a broadcast partner to flight the documentary.
Would you do it again?
Without a doubt!
MoonSport is working with some new international partners to bring various sports insights onto global platforms with various mediums.
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