Events DCLeveraging Influencer Clout to Fire Up a Community

Events DC, Washington, DC’s primary host for conventions, entertainment, and sporting events, partnered with Social Driver to promote the region’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The organization’s first-ever influencer campaign deployed audience insights and precise ad segmentation to earn nearly 5,500 new followers and over 2.2 million impressions.

Challenge

Increasing Followers to Court a Premier Sports Association

Events DC creates and hosts events and experiences that entertain visitors while fueling the local economy and building up the community. As the official convention and sports authority for the nation’s capital, the organization plays a prominent role in the bid to bring the FIFA World Cup to Washington, D.C., in 2026.

Events DC trusted Social Driver to achieve its goal of growing an engaged digital audience to represent DC's passion for soccer and unmatched culture. Our challenge: rally a community around the goal of bringing the world’s most prestigious soccer tournament to Washington, DC.

Solution

Kicking Up Excitement with Social Ads and Influencer Endorsement

We helped Events DC determine a smart, achievable benchmark for follower growth on their  Instagram and Twitter accounts (@dc2026). Our digital advertising team recommended a strategic two-phase approach: cross-channel paid social ads and an influencer marketing campaign.

To reach an audience of “local and vocal” advocates, we applied sophisticated segmentation tactics using the channels’ robust targeting tools. We tapped into key audience segments, including soccer fans and cultural enthusiasts. Then, our team crafted upbeat ads to build hype about the World Cup bid and entice people to follow @dc2026 for updates. Our team supported the ad launch, provided ongoing monitoring and optimization, and led community management–engaging with audiences who had interacted with paid content.

In the campaign’s influencer phase, we took a unique approach: collaborating with micro-influencers. These influencers, who have stronger relationships with their audience, offered highly curated communities that allowed us to target the exact audience we wanted. Also, they boast higher engagement rates and ROI, meaning their followers truly tune in and connect with the content they post.

How We Helped

Social Media
Advertising
Influencer Marketing
Social Media Creative
Campaigns

A screenshot of an Instagram post of a woman kicking a soccer ball with the Washington monument in the far background.A screenshot of an instagram post with a man in matching shorts and t shirt.

Widening the Net for Community-Focused Content

Social Driver identified and vetted DC-based influencers immersed in the local culture with followers matching our target audience. We considered everything from their audience characteristics to commonly used hashtags to pinpoint the right fit for this campaign.

With an event like the World Cup, it’s natural to target soccer fans, but our team realized this event could spark interest among the broader DC community. So, we tapped creators across a variety of industries, including sports, fashion, food, lifestyle and fitness. Widening the net helped Events DC capture more followers who were excited about DC’s bid for the World Cup.

Our team led influencer outreach, pitching, relationship management, content reviews, and community engagement. We also brainstormed content ideas that aligned with the Events DC brand, so the sponsored posts integrated seamlessly with organic content. Finally, we offered ongoing support to influencers, building a base of advocates that Events DC can leverage for future paid ad opportunities.

Building Hype Through Active Engagement

Active community management strengthened brand reputation and kept the momentum of the content going beyond the length of the campaign. Using the @dc2026 accounts, we liked, commented on, and shared paid ad and influencer posts to keep conversations going and further lift reach.

A screenshot of an Instagram post of a mural of a guy and a girl with sports balls and equipment around them.
A screenshot of an instagram post with the Washington Monument against a blue sky.

Energizing Audiences with Compelling Ads

Our team created compelling ads using audience insights, copywriting and creative asset selection. The ad copy invited the community to rally behind the cause. And the visuals showcased DC’s iconic monuments–resonating with Events DC’s ideal audience as the campaign’s highest-performing assets.

Results

Scoring a Victory for Events DC

Social Driver’s paid digital ad strategy resulted in surging awareness and interest in the @dc2026 Instagram and Twitter pages, leading to strong follower growth. We further increased followers by partnering with micro-influencers, leading those actively engaged audiences to Events DC’s social channels. Ongoing community management was key to continuing momentum, firing up audiences and increasing engagement.

Our strategy resulted in:

5,500
new followers (67% above goal)
2.3 million
total impressions
55,500
engagements

We also provided best practices for organic social media strategy and community management to foster Events DC’s newly expanded digital community. They were ecstatic with the results, which built a strong foundation to leverage in future campaigns.

The expertise, responsiveness and creativity of the Social Driver team was instrumental in our audience engagement project for the DC2026 FIFA World Cup Bid. From helping identify goals and benchmarks to project execution, the Social Driver team understood and delivered our vision for the project. Overall, our campaign was extremely successful in growing the DC 2026 audience, surpassing our follower growth and engagement goals."

Craig Chester
Director, Marketing, Sports & Entertainment
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