Education Public Relation

Four Ways to Approach Education Marketing Like an Olympian

By August 22, 2016February 2nd, 2018No Comments

atheltesThis past weekend, we bid a fond farewell to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Although the Olympic Flame has been extinguished, there are takeaways from the Games that can be employed year-round—even in your marketing strategies.

In addition to physical strength and endurance, each Olympic sport requires strategic thinking. CB&A has identified key elements of four Olympic sports that will lead to marketing wins for your team.


In weightlifting, it is critical to set up for a clean lift from the beginning. In the clean and jerk event, athletes often are able to get into the “racked” position with the bar resting on their shoulders, only to drop the bar when they move into the overhead jerk position.

Similar to a weightlifter, education marketers need to set up for the final lift in a campaign. Before launching a large product or service push, marketers can position themselves for success by conducting customer research beforehand. The setup required for any marketing lift will depend on the goals of the program.


The challenge in archery is consistency. Elbow rotation, finger position and leg stance are among the key factors in hitting the bullseye every time. Archers must aim the arrow perfectly before letting it fly.

In marketing, it’s often obvious who your target is, whether educators, superintendents or school CIOs. To score a bullseye, marketers must refine the channels through which communications are sent. For example, an outdated email-marketing template heavy in text won’t yield strong results for a group of busy superintendents. Effective audience targeting is dependent on both what you say and how you say it.

Water polo

Water polo players have to concentrate on shooting, passing and defending—all while treading water. Because there is so much activity during each match, there truly are no breaks in water polo.

With multiple ongoing projects, it can quickly feel like your marketing team is barely keeping its head above water. By identifying one initiative that consistently propels your marketing efforts forward, your team can better prioritize time spent on projects.


Olympians performing in a triathlon typically have an overall goal, whether it is time-based or placement-based. To meet that overarching goal, athletes must pace themselves and know which events they excel in.

Like a triathlon, a marketing program often comprises multiple projects that lead to an end result for the company. Instead of placing a singular focus on the end goal of a marketing program, break down the campaign into smaller goals that will help your team meet the overall goal, and adjust your strategies accordingly along the way.

As we wait for the Summer Olympics to return in 2020, take some time to review your marketing game plan. A fresh perspective on your team’s strategy can build on your previous strengths, and lead to new victories.