Bank of America Chicago Marathon

A community-driven social media strategy brings an engaged audience together

Chicago Marathon runners

The Challenge

Inspiring and connecting a world of runners

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As a member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the six most prestigious marathons in the world. With a participant base of 40,000 people from 50 states and more than 100 countries, the Marathon has the challenge of building a community of passionate athletes from all walks of life.

What we did

As the Marathon’s social media agency of record since 2012, TeamWorks created an in-depth social media strategy for each of the marathon’s three platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), recognizing that each required unique content based on audiences and best practices in each channel. Following the development of the social strategy, we are producing daily content for the three platforms and engaging with their community, growing excitement for the event year-round.

How We Did It

By developing friendly and inviting social accounts that focus on this (often) once-in-a-lifetime journey for participants, we built an extremely engaged social community that is highly invested in the Chicago Marathon brand.


We introduced an enhanced video strategy to adapt to Facebook’s new video-first algorithm. New video content includes clips/GIFs of race weekend to excite participants, as well as Facebook Live events to provide them access to running coaches and experts.

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In order to connect with audiences on the platform, we gave the profile more personality by embracing trending hashtags, hosting Q&As and polls.

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To harness the excitement of the running community and their affection for sharing race experiences, we developed a user-generated content (UGC) and influencer strategy to grow the Chicago Marathon brand. In one year of this strategy being instituted, the new UGC hashtag has generated more than 8,500 pieces of organic Instagram content for the Chicago Marathon.

Explore #MyChicagoMarathon

Client Results

Chicago Marathon stat: 165% higher engagement rate than competitors

Following the 2016 Chicago Marathon, our team was able to achieve the following:

  • During race weekend, the average Facebook engagement increased 25% from the last year’s race weekend.
  • Over race week, our tweets were retweeted 2,300 times, up 28% from the 2015 race week.
  • Instagram, introduced in 2016, saw a steady increase in the amount of engagement per post since its launch – now more than 13,200 followers in organic growth.
  • 165% Higher engagement rate than that of marathon competitors
  • The #mychicagomarathon hashtag (created to encourage user-generated content) was used 8,364 times since the launch

To learn about how we can help improve your social media marketing, get in touch with Chris [at]