Blog post
June 25, 2019

Is Le Tour de France the best piece of content marketing ever?

The Tour de France is surely one of the world’s most gruelling races, during which 198 riders will cover 3,540km, visiting 4 countries over 3 weeks with just the occasional rest day. But is the race the best example of content marketing of all time?

I would suggest that it is.

To make my case, I would cite three key constituents of the race, which of themselves are not enough to satisfy my claim, but when combined together might just be enough.

Firstly, and most obviously, the race reaches a huge global audience each year. This year, the race organisers are expecting 12 million people to spectate from the roadside, who will be joined by armchair cycling enthusiasts watching 105 hours of live coverage in 190 countries, plus a digital audience of more than 36 million people consuming content produced in four languages*.

Impressive. But from a content marketing perspective, the use of Le Tour in tourism marketing is arguably more impressive. France is the most popular destination in the world for tourists, with 82.5 million visiting in 2016** and doesn’t Le Tour do its best to boost those numbers. If you’ve never watched a stage of Le Tour (and if you haven’t I can heartily recommend it) you have missed, as a best guess, about a third of the live coverage being dedicated to the scenery and history of the regions and Departments that the race visits.

Each of the 190 countries airing the race take their feed from the official race broadcaster and as such, all beam incredible footage of chateau, mountain ranges, river gorges, outrageously cute villages and some of the most picturesque countryside in the world to their viewers. In addition, each of the commentary teams is clearly feed information on historical or other points of interest, the names and locations of which are shown on screen. And if that’s not enough, both the Assemble Des Departments De France and the Ministere De L’Interiuer are both official race sponsors.

The whole production is part race and part ‘Wish You Were Here. It’s brilliant.

Finally, and most interestingly, at least from an historical perspective, is that Le Tour was started as a content marketing campaign by a French cycling magazine to boost its circulation.

The first Tour was stage in 1903, started by L’Auto a sports newspaper which was formed to compete with Le Velo, at the time, the largest daily sports newspaper in France. L’Auto was in effect losing the circulation battle and started Le Tour to create a unique content event which they could use to drive their circulation numbers above those of their rival.

It worked.

L’Auto’s circulation rose from 25,000 in 1902 to 250,000 by 1908, almost exclusively on the back of Le Tour. Le Velo was driven out of business in 1904.

So I rest my case. Le Tour – surely the most successful content marketing campaign of all time?

*www.letour.com

** French Foreign Ministry

Richard Spencer, CMO

Louise Wallace
About Author Louise Wallace
Share

Similar articles

Whitepaper
COVID-19 Adapt & Respond: Going back to nature

To combat the threat of the pandemic, social distancing and lockdown measures were implemented all over the world. As an unintended consequence, netizens in many countries are starting to observe clearer skies and see nature return to once crowded urban areas. Fill up the form below to download the whitepaper and read more. About Author […]

Blog
Isentia Conversations with Bec Brown from The Comms Department

In the second of our Communicating through Change webinar series, we chat to Bec Brown from The Comms Department about working from home during this time. We also chat to Isentia’s ANZ Head of Insights, Ngaire Crawford about the traditional and social media conversations around the largest working from home experiment.

Blog
The key metrics for brand reputation during the COVID-19 crisis

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt far and wide. During these times of crises, choosing the right brand messaging and behaviour plus executing it at the right time can instil greater meaning to your brand and strengthen customer relationships.

Whitepaper
The complete crisis management framework – a comprehensive guide to crisis management for organisations

Unfortunate events occur throughout the life of an organisation and in our ever-changing environment, no two crises are the same. This makes effective crisis management a more dynamic and demanding process than many organisations expect.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or request a demo.

Media Intelligence Hub COVID-19

EXPLORE
X