Comprehensive Event Marketing & Management

The Growth Continues

Since its establishment in 2017, Squid Group has worked with Waterbourne each year to help to grow the event and assist with the event branding and marketing of the beach festival. Now in 2023, being the seventh Waterbourne Event to take place, this year was the biggest yet taking place at Mount Maunganui Beach. The Waterbourne Beach Festival in 2023 hosted a range of different sub-events within the overarching festival, including the Tip Top GWA Wingfoil World Cup Presented by Armstrong Foils. Having the event in the Pacific was a first for the sport. 46 athletes from all over the globe including 12 different countries voyaged down under to take part in the first leg of the 2023 circuit. In addition to the wingfoiling, Waterbourne showcased paddle boarding and tow-in surf foiling also. 

The event provided a special opportunity for Squid Group to be involved in growing a world class event, helping to put Tauranga on the World Stage, and amplifying the fastest growing watersport, wingfoiling. 


Squids Vision for Waterbourne

Squid Group has delivered substantial growth particularly over this last year, taking Waterbourne to new heights with a World Cup event in the mix in 2023. We assisted Waterbourne to grow in all aspect of the event, below are some statistic highlights that we proudly helped make happen: 

  • Social Media Reach: 1.1 million 
  • 16x International Headline News TV coverage
  • 503,000 road billboard impressions
  • 1 million radio impressions
  • 10,000 people in attendance of Waterbourne across the 8 day festival period


Brand Refresh & Illustrations

With the event evolving so much since 2017, the brand goals and inspiration has changed significantly. Each year we relook at and rework the overall branding and illustrations to align more closely with the vision for Waterbourne for the following year. 

This year we refreshed the Waterbourne colour palette with a splash of orange. This created a more vibrant look for the brand that moved away from the block blue look that was more associated with solely watersports, which the event has since evolved from. 

All illustrations got a makeover also, with this year's designs providing a more sleek look for the brand that aligned better with the event. As the event has many components that can be confusing for the public, a more simple design highlighted the structure of the overall event and Waterbournes goals for the coming year. 

New branding and illustrations took the Waterbourne website, advertisements and social media to a new level, helping to bring the event to life. 


Digital Advertising

Waterbourne wanted to target a large range of people as the event demographic was aimed at all ages, from children to elderly. Throughout the event there was something for everyone. This made for a broad digital campaign to capture the right audience. 

As the past few years have proved a difficult time for the events industry, we were able to leverage on the fact that Waterbourne was a fully functioning event for the first time in 3 years. 

We successfully delivered a digital advertising campaign that generated traffic online and eventually at the event, with more than 10,000 people attending the event over the course of the 8 days. Over 100 athletes entered the event, including athletes from 12 different countries in both the foiling and paddle boarding sections of the event. 

Our campaign generated 13,000 visitors to the Waterbourne website. We teamed Waterbourne up with Hawaiian Airlines and House Of Travel who came on as a sponsor offering flights to Hawaii to giveaway. Using this as a tool, a large amount of the website visitors converted into database subscribers with an embedded entry form on the website. 

For our social media campaign we focused on using Facebook and Instagram as our main platforms for advertising. We created the content and scheduled a media campaign that was consistent for the 3 months leading up to the event. We used a range of paid advertising and organic posting, with our overall social media reach surpassing 1 million. 


Media Coverage

Being the first time the wingfoil world cup has been hosted in the Pacific, we needed to ensure that Tauranga was captured hosting a world class event on the world stage. Our team at Squid Group worked with local New Zealand and international news providers to secure coverage of the event. 

As a result we managed to gain international TV coverage on 16 different channels including mainstream French, German and Taiwanese News. On top of this, Waterbourne and the wingfoil world cup was promoted on New Zealand TV news outlets including, TVNZ 1, The Breakfast Show and The Crowd Goes Wild. 

Squid Group aided Waterbourne in creating press releases that were relatable and capturing for news agencies. Waterbourne was promoted in a range of local newspapers including The Bay Of Plenty Times. There were over 25 news articles published on online newsgroups and forums that targeted a range of international and local audiences. 

Lastly, Squid Group organised all radio campaigns for Waterbourne with our connections at MediaWorks NZ. With a focus on advertising with More FM and The Breeze, this put more emphasis on the family friendly and community engagement aspects of the event. Overall radio impressions sat at just about 1 million for the Bay Of Plenty and Waikato regions.


Sponsorship Management

Another key aspect of Squid Groups involvement in Waterbourne this year was the management of all major sponsors.  

We worked with Waterbourne from day 1 to establish new sponsorship opportunities that have grown in scale since the seeding of Waterbourne in 2017. This year we continued the sponsorship relationship with Tip Top Ice Cream, EVES Real Estate and Yamaha NZ. Building on and growing these already formed relationships helps with the overall consistency, support and reliability for Waterbourne to ensure these Sponsors deliver to a high standard. 

In 2023, new sponsorship opportunities arose for Waterbourne where we were involved in the process of approaching and confirming new sponsorship opportunities alongside Waterbourne. This year we managed to bring onboard One NZ (formally Vodafone NZ), Hawaiian Airlines, House Of Travel, Armstrong Foils, and BULLET Espresso. 

Our management aspect was not limited to only the acquiring of sponsors. The team at Squid also managed ongoing communication, including building and delivering sponsor activations where sponsors did not have an agency already managing this. For sponsors such as Tip Top Ice Cream and One NZ, they both have event management agencies who will design and deliver an activation. In this case we worked with Dark Horse, and Shine agencies to guide them in delivering successful activations.


Squid & Waterbourne Moving Forward 

The team at Waterbourne aim to be better and bigger every year. This is something that our Squid love to be a part of. Helping to grow not only the event but the overall Waterbourne Brand is something that we will continue to help Waterbourne navigate. 

With the events industry being so fast paced and over the past few years on a huge downfall, we feel privileged to offer value to Waterbourne in the digital marketing and events space. Working with Waterbourne our team at Squid Group, has had to be adaptive and fast working to provide value in a timely manner. 

Whether you are in the events industry or not, if you think your business needs a lifejacket to stay afloat in the digital ocean, please contact a Squid today! We look forward to working with you.