DEFY THE IMPOSSIBLE:
THE PHO3NIX SUB7 AND SUB8 PROJECT
Powered by Zwift
What if we could push the envelope, being the best together, and have them race freely?
What could happen when you get a mix of the best chasing a new impossible?
A one-on-one match race against an unprecedented time barrier to achieve an impossible goal and inspire generations.
The Pho3nix Sub7 and Sub8 Project, Powered by Zwift is the equivalent for long-distance triathlon. The goal? To create a new world standard of human physical performance through the engagement of four of the greatest triathletes on earth, each aiming to achieve what was believed impossible; to break 7 hours for a man, and 8 hours for a woman, over the full distance of triathlon (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run).
How do you bring the niche sport of triathlon to the world’s attention?
An attempt of this magnitude was historic and deserved a global audience, requiring an extraordinary level of content production, programming, public engagement and exposure for the sport and host destination.
Then came the challenge of balancing racing legitimacy with the aim of unprecedented pace. What location would be ideal? What specific race rules should be implemented? How to make the race as seamless as possible for all the athletes involved?
Retained by the Pho3nix Foundation to deliver end-to-end operations and logistics, Mana Group began work two years prior to the June 2022 attempt, spearheading public relations, marketing, event and broadcast to bring the Sub7 and Sub8 Project to life.
Mana Group’s 360 Sports and Entertainment arm set about defining the race rules, as well as conducting a global search to identify the venue for the attempt. Germany’s Lausitzring came closest to that perfect blend of water temperature, wind speed and direction, altitude, topography, road surface, and time zones that would best allow the athletes to deliver on race day.
Mana Group commissioned Sydney-based boutique creative agency The Other Dimension to build a website that allowed fans to engage visually with the Sub7 and Sub8 journey.
A custom 55-page website informing and enriching the Pho3nix Sub7 & Sub8 experience at every step along the final year-long path to June 5th, 2022 – from the background of the attempts, to the announcements, storytelling and nuance of a moment that remains unique in sporting history.
As the enormity and intrigue of Pho3nix Sub7 & Sub8 caught the attention of the endurance community, Mana Group signed virtual training leader Zwift as the presenting sponsor.
The support of Zwift was instrumental in the development of the project, particularly in creating an engaged community of fans.
Mana Group also brought on one of the world’s leading global communications companies, Hill and Knowlton, and charged them with one central objective: to take Pho3nix Sub7 & Sub8 from just another triathlon event to a unique moment in the broader sporting consciousness.
Mana Studios then partnered with global broadcast leaders Gravity Media, who brought the expertise of their work with F1, Netflix, the ATP Tour, the UEFA Champions League and others to triathlon for the first time to produce a broadcast unparalleled in the sport.
from London, Sydney, Berlin and Paris descended on the Lausitzring for event week
including 5 motorbikes, pole cams, drones, helicopter, and in-car 3 full edit suites in Germany supported by 2 more in Sydney produced over 90 pre-recorded pieces
Hours of live broadcast
including full pre- and post-race panel shows, beamed back to Sydney where a further 30 staff in two control rooms produced a fully integrated feed
Finally, Mana’s dedicated social media team supported the broadcast and pre- and post-event marketing, churning out shoulder content and driving engagement
Mana Studios and Gravity Media also delivered a full 54-minute documentary just four weeks post-event that appealed equally to triathlon fans and newcomers.
Distributed to over 50 networks worldwide, with a reach of well over half a billion people across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the Caribbean and the Americas, the Sub7 Sub8 documentary continues to capture the imagination of the sporting world.
In August 2022, the rights to the documentary were picked up by Amazon Prime, where it is now available on demand in the US and UK.
To reach fans new and old, in every country. To cut through the sporting landscape and appeal to the universal human emotions that unite us all.
That was the sole goal of the storytelling around Pho3nix Sub7 & Sub8, and the numbers speak for themselves.