Special Olympics Tasmania

Special Olympics Tasmania (SOT) is a self-funded NFP organisation, part of a global movement using sport as a platform to unite people living with intellectual disabilities and promote inclusive communities. 

SOT delivers year-round multi-sport programs in schools and with registered partners throughout the state, which opens the door to personal achievement, building confidence, and resulting well-being benefits for some of the most marginalised and isolated members of our community.  


The Challenge
In October 2022, the Special Olympics Australia (SOA) National Games were held in Launceston. With the prospect of athletes also being selected for the World Games in Berlin in April 2023, we were tasked with promoting the opportunity for eligible athletes to register in SOT programs to chase their personal goals and dreams. 

The time was right to leverage this significant event, which included the ‘Flame of Hope’ Torch Relay not seen in Tasmania since 1986.

Unlike those with a physical disability, it’s not always obvious a person has an intellectual disability. So the campaign brief was to celebrate the athletes as well as increase awareness of ‘ID’ people in the community.


Our Approach
Our collaborative briefing and planning process resulted in a three-stage social media campaign, combining pre, during, and post-Games promotions. 

Stage 1 focused on the ‘Flame of Hope’ Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). Originating in Greece, a crew of police officers and athletes carried the torch through Hobart, and the general public was invited to line the route and cheer on the athletes. 

Stage 2 focused on the unique stories of the athletes in the Tasmanian team. Stage 3 promoted SOT memberships, and what it could mean for potential athletes while showcasing the existing local athletes’ achievements.

The 8-week social media campaign ran across Facebook and Instagram, with the creative content funnelled into a 3-stage strategy: Awareness (SOT and the Games), Consideration (the athlete’s stories), and Conversion (memberships) – including an invitation to a public Registration Day to ‘join the team’ in the new year.

The multi-layer strategy, along with a strong call to action; to take up an SOT membership, resulted in a significant uplift in participant numbers over 2023. 


The Result
The event theme dared competitors to dream. The creative messaging dared our athletes to stand out. The consistent call to action to take up a SOT membership resulted in a significant uplift in participant numbers over 2023.

Our paid content reached over a quarter of the entire state, with just over 160,000 people seeing the campaign, with nearly 800 people clicking through to the website for more information. 

Organically we saw an 11,000% increase in Facebook Page Reach. That included 5,277 new Facebook Page visits, a 365% increase. There were also 141 new Page Likes generated, which was a significant 464% increase on previous months. 

In raising SOT’s profile and awareness in the Tasmanian community, we’ve helped individuals and families gain a network of support and encouraged the broader public to open their hearts and minds to people with an intellectual disability.

The Agency was also commissioned to manage the full production of the Opening Ceremony, including the spectacular staging, musical, visual, and interpretive dance performance. 


“The IC team has helped expand SOT’s profile across the mainstream landscape. Their skills and values allowed us to collaborate and benefit from their industry expertise.

The quality of the campaign and outcomes exceeded my expectations. We experienced a five-fold increase in athlete registrations and inquiries about our programs. Thanks to IC, SOT is now on a growth path in attracting and supporting more intellectually disabled people to participate in sport, and also for possible state and national representation.”

– Kath Thomson, SOT Chair.

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