Community News

Case Study: The Foursquare race to the North Pole

20 January 2011

Stickyeyes' ground-breaking Foursquare campaign for Carole Nash Motorbike Insurance generated more than 200 pieces of coverage and recently won an innovation in online PR award at the 2010 Econsultancy Awards.

Campaign name: **The Foursquare race to the North Pole
Carole Nash Motorbike Insurance
PR team:  Stickyeyes
Budget: Undisclosed


Foursquare is a location-based social networking site which allows users to "check-in" to certain physical locations with their mobile device and earn points or badges. Users can leave tips at each location for other visitors which serve as suggestions for things to do, see or eat.


Stickyeyes was commissioned by our client, Carole Nash Motorbike Insurance, to engage with users of social channels for CEO David Newman's charity trek to the North Pole. The team wanted to combine old-school media relations techniques with the new opportunities presented by mobile and social media.

Strategy and implementation

David wanted to raise awareness of his fundraising for two motorbiking charities, BASIC and Riders for Health, and was delivering updates to his blog and Twitter feed via a satellite connection during his six-day trek to the North Pole.

Through creative placement of PR we changed the emphasis from a traditional charity walk to a news story about becoming the first to "check-in" on Foursquare at the North Pole. The result was massive exposure for the two charities and a watershed in the maturing of Foursquare.

There were technical considerations before the campaign even began. Stickyeyes had to ensure that the phone would work in -35 degree temperatures and that Foursquare would be able to record the co-ordinates at the North Pole. The team even went as far as tethering an Android phone to a satellite phone so David could check in when he got the North Pole.

Throughout the process the Stickyeyes team worked directly with Foursquare to design an original badge for this achievement which David would earn when he eventually checked-in.

The campaign was promoted initially through the blog, Facebook and Twitter posts about the charity trek, where there was a sizeable audience that were following the story.  Although we also used online feed services, the vast majority of the media deployment involved getting on the phone and speaking to the right journalists to introduce the key elements of the story.


From a small following, the North Pole trek gained huge exposure and captured the imagination both on and offline. The story was covered by the Daily Mirror, ABC News, Mashable *and *GigaOM as well as more than 200 leading blogs.

It was also shared more than 3,000 times across all social platforms, helping it become one of the hottest stories on Twitter, according to Tweet Meme.

Coverage in *Mashable *led to the North Pole badge being unlocked and shared more than 1500 times.

Donations to the charities soared to more than £14,000 (and counting), along with the client's rankings and site visitor numbers.


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