With the 75th Anniversary of “Nashville’s Rite of Spring” approaching in 2016, the Iroquois Steeplechase engaged Sheridan PR to help maximize the opportunity around the milestone event. Held the second Saturday in May, the Iroquois attracts thousands of well-dressed fans to watch the horses race three miles over jumps on a manicured turf track at Percy Warner Park.
As part of the anniversary, an international challenge was established with the Cheltenham Festival in England, offering a $500,000 bonus to any horse that could win the two races back-to-back. The event became world news, attracting the likes of ESPN, Forbes, National Public Radio, USA TODAY and Garden & Gun stateside, and major outlets in the U.K., Ireland, Japan and New Zealand across the globe. Race week media coverage alone reached millions, and 35,000 people watched the race from far corners through a live stream.
Beyond media relations, SPR worked with the Iroquois team on every aspect of the event, from sponsorship packages to collateral materials, building a new website and leading email marketing, social media and other communications functions.
In 2017, as the Challenge continued, nearly 150 members of the media from 50+ outlets – from as far away as Sweden – were on-site for race day, again generating significant coverage for the race and its primary cause: the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, for which the Steeplechase has generated more than $10 million.
SPR is proud to represent the Iroquois Steeplechase as we look toward Nashville’s favorite spring social event on May 12, 2018.