How many walk-a-thons are there out there? Is it a tried-and-true model for community participation in a good cause or tired-and-tame based upon over-use and lack of imagination? Does it pull in the same walkers or draw new crowds.
Our good friend, Wikipedia defines walkathons(walk-a-thons) as:
"A walkathon (walk-a-thon), or walking marathon is a type of community or school fundraiser where participants raise money by collecting donations or pledges for walking a predetermined distance or course."
And the most notable examples include:
There are, of course, all sorts of other marathons, bike-a-thons, etc.. Walk-a-thons are great because they are accessible to most people. If I can walk, I can make a difference. Even if I cannot walk, I can sponsor someone who can. But there are too many of them.
Bring on the Flash
But it is tired. If I do not have a personal connection to the issue, I overlook the same-same posters promoting something-a-thon on Saturday morning somewhere in America.
What if the next walk-a-thon took a page from Converse.com (their ConverseOne design-your-shoe app) and Poject Runway (their make fashion fun and shareable)? What if participants were invited to customize their sneakers with the grandest of "flash" - you know, homemade sparkly, colorful, wild stuff? Not only would participants do the walk-a-thon thing but they could also participate in a wild and weird fashion show of homemade good and bad taste combined.
Local merchants could sponsor a Friday night event leading up to the Saturday event. Kids could create clubs at school to compete. Those who shun exercise but love showing off would get motivated. We would create Flickr galleries of shoe entries and extend the voting online creating a whole dimansion of engagement that doesn't exist right now. And fresh, new life would breathe nto a tired-yet-true model. (And new money would come in)
Walk-a-thon-a-lulu - that's what I would call it. And I promise not to copyright it or buy the url. Another IdeaBar there for the taking.
(get some ideas here at the Solepedia: encyclopedia of sneakers)
(And check out Rohit's latest IdeaBar on Magazie Subscription Coupons)