Amazing Race Season Finale Watch Party

The Amazing Race Season 31 Finale Watch Party Hosted by Travelocity

As Creative and Brand Experience at Travelocity, one of my responsibilities was to manage the marketing campaigns around our media partnerships – including The Amazing Race. For Season 31, I proposed we add a new, Experiential/Event Marketing element to our standard campaign approach. Upon approval of the idea, I identified and secured the venue, worked with PR to plan and manage talent and exposure for the event, tapped our local Dallas market managers to secure lodging for the attendees, and secured all legal and network sign-off. 

I project managed the event from end to end – working with our creative teams to develop assets, including the Roaming Gnome Snapchat filter and local signage. I worked with our events team and internal volunteers to curate swag bags, coordinate volunteers onsite at the event, secure prizing, and manage the flow of the event. This was an enormous undertaking with support from an equally enormous cast of employees and volunteers – it’s something Travelocity had never attempted before, and I’m proud to have planned this event as my last official project at Travelocity.

Please see the blog post below, written by one of the PR specialists at Expedia Group, for a third-person perspective on the event.

31 Seasons and Counting: Fans and Racers Celebrate The Amazing Race Season Finale with Travelocity

By: [name removed for privacy], PR Specialist for Expedia Group

Date: 17 July 2019

If you’ve traveled with The Roaming Gnome, you know there’s one question fans consistently ask: Are you on The Amazing Race right now? After seasons of awarding pit stop prizes, participating in challenges and traversing the glove with host, Phil Keoghan, The Roaming Gnome and Travelocity have become synonymous with the hit CBS show. Which is why this season, the team decided to try something new to increase overall engagement with the brand: hosting a finale watch party inviting fans, cast members and employees to celebrate the season on air and in person.

When one of the teams from this season, Nicole Franzel and Victor Arroyo III, reached out to Travelocity to share their new after-the-show podcast, Coco Caliente, Travelocity signed on as a a sponsor for eight weeks to promote the new Amazing Destinations page. The landing page featured destinations seen on the show and offered listeners a custom promo code: COCO for 10% off hotel bookings.

Nicole and Victor were so engaging on the podcast that we offered to host a live taping in Dallas during the finale on June 26. They loved the idea and invited other teams to participate, including this season’s winners and fellow Texans, Colin Guinn and Christie Woods.

With their help, Travelocity invited all the current Racers – and a few fan favorite teams from previous seasons – and set the ball rolling on a big finale event. The Londoner, a family-friendly bar and pub in nearby Addison, donated space to host the event. The Lorenzo, a boutique hotel in downtown Dallas, provided complimentary lodging for the entire cast and space for a reunion pool party prior to the event.

To promote the event locally, the comet NA PR team secured publicity for the event on the local CBS 11 affiliate and two interviews with Colin and Christie: a live talk back segment during the 4:00pm broadcast and an in-studio interview with hosts the following morning. Fans also RSVP’d to the event on Facebook, where sponsored ads promoted the watch party in the area.

16 of the 22 teams were in attendance, in addition to surprise appearances from host Phil Keoghan, Dave and Connor O’Leary (season 22), Marty Cobb (season 28) and Mariah Thompson (season 5). 200 fans attended the festivities, which included a live Coco Client podcast taping with finalists from the season and a fan Q&A. The Roaming Gnome also made an appearance, arriving at the event with a red-carpet rollout. Fans also had access to a custom Roaming Gnome Snapchat filter.

Travelocity gave away swag bags to the first 100 fans and raffled off five $1,000 travel vouchers. Employees helped staff the event and enjoyed a private meet-and-greet with Racers. Everyone had a blast watching the final episode together. Overall, we succeeded in amplifying Travelocity’s awareness in the local Dallas community through promoting the event in the media and across social channels. It was certainly an event we will be talking about for quite some time!

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