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Skydive Dubai – The highest base jump, the best duo, and a World Record

Background

Skydive Dubai constantly strives to push the boundaries of extreme sports and this time was no exception. Active PR was briefed on a highly confidential jump that was to take place off the Burj Khalifa. The highest base jump in the world off the highest building in the world. Skydive Dubai and Active PR worked together to promote Skydive Dubai as an innovator and leader in progressive sports while simultaneously promoting Dubai as one of the world’s top destinations.

Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet, a French base jumping duo, was set to write history with a base jump from the highest man-made building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai. The project was under strict embargo until the big reveal to the media, Wednesday 23rd April 2014.

Skydive Dubai wanted to reveal the highest base jump through a YouTube video documenting Fred & Vince’s jump breaking a world record. The footage was one of the first to be shot in 4K, a new standard of high-definition. This feature was one of the main reasons a lot of the media, local and international showed great interest in this breaking news story. One of their main objectives was to have this YouTube video go viral locally as well as internationally.

Active PR’s scope was to drive an aggressive PR communication campaign by targeting a wide and diverse set of national and international media. The big reveal was scheduled for Wednesday, April 23rd 2014. The Agency was briefed by the Client on the 7th of April, culminating in 12 working days in total until the news was scheduled to break.

Challenges

  • Time– The time frame in which the Agency received the brief to execute the plan was 12 working days, which was a great challenge for the Agency to prepare all activities until the big reveal. During this 12 day period, the plan went through a number of revisions due to scheduled activities going through last minute changes, this meant that the deadlines we had to work against were even tighter.
  • Embargo – Due to the platform being built on top of the Burj Khalifa, there were lots of speculations from the media, with several publications making assumptions around a new world record ahead of the release date. However, we had to make sure that the news would break on the same day by all media outlets without being leaked. We could only go ahead once the Guinness Book of World Record auditor had confirmed the record had been officially broken.
  • Managing media requests from all over the world – Soon after sending out the news announcement of the base jump along with the video being uploaded onto Skydive Dubai’s YouTube channel, media requests came streaming in from all over the world. We had to make sure to attend to all media requests, in a timely manner. Managing all the media required 24/7 availability, including weekends as we had to be responsive across different time zones and ensure we would not miss out on any opportunities.
  • Footage rights – The Agency was carefully briefed by the Client concerning the terms and conditions related to sharing of the video footage. There were 2 types of footage, the YouTube link which had to be embedded into every website and it could not be downloaded, changed or edited and the raw footage which was not allowed to be shared with any media unless they signed the use of footage agreement. Furthermore, the media had to agree and ensure that the use of any footage was accredited to Skydive Dubai and Dubai Films.

Delivery

  • 9 interviews were conducted with local dailies, weeklies, broadcast; TV and radio, and international media. Throughout the entire campaign the Agency was required to respond and close continuous interview requests, which kept coming through one month post the news being announced.
  • As initially agreed with the Client prior to the launch of the campaign, we ensured to set clear and concise key messaging, which was to highlight and guarantee Skydive Dubai was mentioned in each piece of coverage in addition to focusing on the innovative and creative angles of Dubai as an Emirate. As a result, Skydive Dubai was mentioned in every piece of coverage and Dubai as an Emirate was portrayed as forward thinking.
  • Soon after breaking the news, the Agency received & dealt with over 50 media requests within the first 24 hours from all over the world.

Results

The communication objectives were met and were far exceeded by the Agency:

  • Raising Skydive Dubai’s profile internationally – The PR campaign launched Skydive Dubai as the world’s best and most progressive skydiving center.
  • Throughout the campaign, Dubai was portrayed as a city that aims to constantly push boundaries, a city of the future, at the forefront of breaking world records.

In addition to the objectives being met, Skydive Dubai’s target reach was surpassed – with the base jump Guinness World Record breaking news receiving worldwide coverage & interest.

  • Total number interviews conducted: 9
    • Including: CNN live, Discovery Channel Canada, Virgin Radio and Dubai One – Studio One
    • Coverage in tier 1 International broadcast media including CNN live (online), BBC Worldwide (UK), Fox News and Bloomberg to name a few
  • Coverage
    • 174 pieces of coverage and clippings were secured (local and international)
  • A viral YouTube video – the video went viral within 2 hours of being posted online, hitting 7 million views and still counting. Active PR contributed in the video going viral as it was our responsibility to ensure it was shared with all the relevant media, who in turn embedded the link on their websites. We have been able to get the desired media traction through pitching it as a video that not only documented a world record being broken, but also being shot with the latest technology in filming extreme sports with 4K cameras.

On 23rd April 2014, the news had spread all over the world within an hour with the Youtube video being shared by several popular international news outlets via social media such as Mashable, the Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, The Verge, Buzzfeed and Elite Daily add more.

The news successfully traveled world-wide: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungry, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA.

Quote:

“Active PR did it again, not only did they achieve great coverage, they exceeded our expectations once more. Having previously worked with Active PR on the XCF event we were confident they would be able to successfully deliver valuable coverage locally and more importantly for this campaign internationally. Media outlets throughout Europe and the States, such as Bloomberg, ESPN, Fox News, BBC and CNN all covered the Burj Khalifa base jump and they were managed by Active PR in a very timely manner. We were working on tight deadlines with a number of last minute changes and I was impressed with Active PR’s flexibility and productivity. A big thank you to the Active PR team,” Javad Khoramifar, Head of Marketing Services at Skydive Dubai

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