General Press & Outside-of-Box Ideas and Execution for the World’s Largest AIDS Fundraiser Benefiting the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation
AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles through some of California’s most scenic countryside, including the stunning coast. The world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, the event is co-produced by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation to support HIV/AIDS services at both organizations. As participants in this life-changing experience, the more than 2,500 cyclists and volunteer roadies — from nearly every state and seven countries, ages 18 to 82 — become ambassadors in the fight against AIDS while improving their own health.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to ensure the HIV epidemic ends in the same city where it began. By combining innovative, evidence-based programs for HIV prevention and care with bold policy initiatives focused on issues ranging from harm reduction to total health and wellness, the agency is making sustainable progress against HIV among populations most vulnerable to the disease. Established in 1982, San Francisco AIDS Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.
About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more.
Serrato+Co. was brought on by AIDS/LifeCylce 9 three months prior to their June 2010 event; ALC was not only looking for an agency with experience in the LGBT market and non-profit arena, but with a wide range of mainstream contacts and the ability to come up with and see through out-of-the-box ideas. Serrato+Co. was also expected to travel with the Ride, secure and facilitate media interviews.
Within a few weeks of the partnership it became apparent that the Ride was not attracting the numbers of riders, volunteer-roadies and funds that they had witnessed in previous years. Serrato+Co. had to quickly assess the situation and redirect efforts to insure a successful 2010 Ride.
A few important items had to be addressed. One, what segment of the population was going to be the closest to the cause? Two, what group of individuals would be able to jump on a bike and be willing and capable of riding 600 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles over seven days? It was simple, the Gay and Lesbian community, straight allies who had a friend/family member living with AIDS or who had lost one to the deadly disease and those of the cycling community since most participants at this point had already been training for more than six months.
- Redirecting PR/Marketing Strategy
- Issuing Press Release to generate buzz and excitement regarding the Ride and the programs provided by ALC to make new participants feel that the Ride was “doable”
- Secure and facilitate countless “cover stories” in the LGBT media
- Secure and facilitate sexy but tasteful photo shoot of male riders for high-traffic LGBT website
- Secure and facilitate countless online articles in cycling publications
- Engage and Empower current Riders to create their own Press Release for their local newspapers; Serrato+Co. created a “template” for ease and accessibility
- Secure and facilitate on the Ride a photo shoot with AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest-circulation publication, to showcase mature riders and prove that anyone at any age can achieve their goal
- More than 10 Million raised in 2010
- An audience of more than 194 million people was exposed to ALC 9 news.
- ALC 9 news appeared in more than 93 print and online media outlets.
- ALC 9 news appeared on television or radio more than 53 times with a total airtime of one hour and 35 minutes.
- Number of rider registrations grew by 207 percent, from 140 in 2009 to 290 during the same time period in 2010. See following chart.
- Number of rider registrations grew from 140 in 2009 to 290 during the same time period in 2010. If each registered rider raised only the minimum funds required, that is an increase of at least $450,000, for a total of $870,000 raised during the course of the contract.
- Serrato+Co. helped to secure a sponsorship with premier gay sports magazine Compete in the amount of $15,000.
- Secured out-of-state cover stories even though the Ride takes place in the state of California and benefits only California non-profits