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Wake Island Mud Run

Goal: Increase engagement at a cable wakeboarding park in Northern California by developing, marketing, staffing and promoting first of its kind, family friendly 5K mud-run & beach party event at the park at the end of Summer.


Designing a unique, family-friendly, mud-run event from scratch in less than 5 months.

The Wake Island Mud Run was an ambitious project, aiming to transform a pristine Northern California Wakeboarding park into a family-friendly mud-run event. With less than five months to design and launch the event, Heroik faced the challenge of creating a unique experience from scratch, on a tight budget. As experts in “Thought to Profit” sprint projects, Heroik was ready to take on this formidable task.

business meeting review user journey mather sports village

The Challenge

Wakeboarding parks, especially cable wakeboarding parks, were relatively new phenomena. The primary goal was to draw attention to Wake Island and the summer activities it offered. The project, initiated in the summer of 2014, aimed to market tickets for an unknown event at a venue that was just over a year old. This greenfield challenge meant there were no existing templates or guidelines to follow. Additionally, ensuring the event was safe and enjoyable for families, including children, added layers of complexity.

aerial view of wake island cable wakeboarding park

Greenfield Challenge

Novelty of the Venue – Wakeboarding parks, especially those focused on cable wakeboarding, were still a relatively new concept. This meant there was little precedent or established best practices to draw from.

Unknown Event – Marketing tickets for an event that had never been held before, especially at a venue that was just over a year old, meant there was no existing reputation or word-of-mouth to leverage.

wake island cable wake boarding park

Safety and Family-Friendliness

Diverse Audience – The event had to cater to both adults seeking a challenge and families with children. Balancing these needs without compromising the experience for either group was crucial.
Liability Concerns – Ensuring the safety of participants, especially children, was paramount. This meant designing obstacles that were challenging yet safe, and ensuring adequate measures were in place to handle any emergencies.

participants at summer camp at wake island water sports park

Time Constraints

participants at summer camp at wake island water sports park

Rapid Development – With less than five months to go from concept to event day, every decision and action had to be expedited. This left little room for errors or revisions.
Seasonal Limitations – Given that the project started in the summer of 2014, there was a narrow window to capitalize on the summer crowd and favorable weather.

Budgetary Restrictions

Shoestring Budget – The project had to achieve its objectives without a lavish budget. This meant being resourceful and maximizing the impact of every dollar spent.
Cost-Efficient Marketing – Without a large marketing budget, Heroik had to find cost-effective ways to generate buzz and attract participants.

wake island shot of people in grass watching wake boarders

Digital Presence and Branding

Building from Scratch – Heroik had to create a brand identity and digital presence for the Wake Island Mud Run from the ground up. This included everything from logo design to website development.
Consistent Messaging – Ensuring that the brand’s messaging was consistent across all platforms and marketing materials was essential to create a cohesive image for the event.

Strategic Partnerships

Building New Relationships – While some existing partnerships could be leveraged, new relationships had to be forged quickly to support the event.
Aligning Interests – Each partner brought their own objectives and expectations. Ensuring that the event met these expectations while staying true to its vision was a delicate balancing act.

boga yoga at wake island watersports

Permit and Regulation Navigation

Local Regulations – Organizing a public event of this scale required navigating a maze of local regulations and securing the necessary permits.
Environmental Concerns – Given that the event involved creating a mud-run in a wakeboarding park, there were potential environmental regulations and concerns to address.

runner's feet in mud

Integrated Marketing Efforts

Diverse Channels – The marketing strategy had to span multiple channels, from social media to radio promotions. Each channel required a tailored approach.
Targeted Messaging – With a diverse target audience, from thrill-seeking adults to families, the marketing messages had to be segmented and targeted effectively.

By understanding these challenges in detail, one can truly appreciate the complexity of the Wake Island Mud Run project and the expertise Heroik brought to the table to address each one.





Tickets Sold




The Solution

wake island mud run participants

Heroik’s approach was a combination of rapid development and a media blitz. Key components of the solution included:

Rapid Brand and Digital Presence Development

Heroik quickly established a brand identity for the Wake Island Mud Run and built a digital presence to support it.

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Integrated Marketing

Heroik orchestrated a multi-pronged marketing strategy, including targeted social media campaigns, direct-to-consumer mailers, and radio promotions.

wake island mud run logo with man covered in mud walking tight rope over water


The Wake Island Mud Run stands as a testament to the power of experience design in creating brand memories that last. Through carefully curated Heroik Experience Design, we brought the Wake Island brand to life, ensuring that participants not only had an unforgettable experience during the event but took home tangible reminders that would evoke memories and feelings for years to come.

Crafting Branded Mementos
Recognizing the importance of brand markers and artifacts as potent mediums for building a brand impression, we sought to create branded swag that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing. We understood that for brand artifacts to truly resonate, they needed to serve as more than just marketing tools. They needed to add value to the participant’s experience and be worthy of being cherished.

wake island mud run participants finish line

Branded Wake Island Bags & Beach Towels

Understanding the nature of a mud run, we realized participants would greatly appreciate items to help them clean up and carry their belongings. The Wake Island branded bags were designed with durability in mind, perfect for holding essentials during the event. The beach towels, featuring the iconic Wake Island logo, served a dual purpose. They provided participants with a means to clean off after their muddy endeavor and also stood as a cozy reminder of the event when used on future beach days or pool outings.

Wake Island Lime Green Wayfarer Sunglasses
In line with the vibrant and energetic vibe of the event, we introduced the Wake Island lime green wayfarer sunglasses. Handed out at the event, these sunglasses weren’t just a style statement. They were designed to protect participants from the sun’s glare and ensure comfort as they tackled the mud run. The striking lime green color, synonymous with the Wake Island brand, ensured participants stood out, and it created a unified visual impact. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Many mentioned how they enjoyed wearing them during the event and how they’ve continued to use them in their daily lives, constantly reminding them of their Wake Island experience.

The Importance of Tactical Brand Markers
Tactical brand markers like the sunglasses, bags, and towels play a pivotal role in experience design. They serve as physical touchpoints that individuals can interact with, embedding brand memories through tactile sensations. Each time a participant wears the sunglasses or uses the beach towel, they’re transported back to the adrenaline, camaraderie, and sheer fun of the Wake Island Mud Run. These artifacts become conversation starters, organically promoting the brand through word-of-mouth and sharing on social media.

Moreover, they function as a silent, yet powerful, testament to the brand’s attention to detail and commitment to enhancing the participant’s experience. When brands invest in creating quality artifacts that consumers find valuable, they’re essentially building a reservoir of goodwill and positive association.

Strategic Partnerships

Existing partnerships were expanded, and new ones were forged. Notable partners included Beach Hut Deli, RedBull, Susan G Komen Foundation, Go Girl Energy Drink, Sports Authority, and The Roseville Lifestyle Guide.

wake island mud run participants finish line

Event & Course Design

Heroik designed a course that was both challenging for adults and safe for children, ensuring a fun experience for all attendees.

conceptual map of mather sports village

Comprehensive Project Management

From securing permits to managing the event staff, Heroik ensured every aspect of the project was meticulously planned and executed.

strategic msv partner user journey map


mud run participants

The Wake Island Mud Run was a resounding success. Heroik’s comprehensive approach ensured that every challenge was met head-on and resolved efficiently. The event not only drew attention to Wake Island as a premier wakeboarding park but also established it as a venue capable of hosting large-scale, family-friendly events.

wake island mud run participants finishing photo


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Integrated Digital Presence Design



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wake island mud run participants finishing photo

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