How a Professional Cyclist Toms Skujins Uses Social Media Promotions to Connect with his Audience

Posted in: Success casesLast update: 07/08/20

In recent years, social media channels have become the norm and a popular and effective way for athletes to connect with their fans. Nowadays, the majority of world-class sportsmen and sportswomen use social media to reinforce their personal branding and stay on top of their fan engagement. Through strong, consistent professional branding, social media helps athletes stand out, remain relevant, and support the value in the minds of both current and potential fans. Discover how Toms Skujins, a Latvian professional road racing cyclist uses social media promotions to connect with his fans, promote sponsors, and give back to his online community.

The organizer

Toms Skujins, professional cyclist

Toms Skujins is a professional road cyclist, currently a member of the UCI WorldTeam Trek-Segafredo. The Olympic athlete was raised in a small Latvian town, where cycling was one of the main ways of getting around. At the age of 15, he took up competitive cycling. One of his most memorable wins is the first stage win in the Tour of California in 2015. Skujins earned a polka dot jersey during the 2019 edition of Le Tour de France.

Toms’ social media presence

Toms joined mainstream social media networks and built up a solid following prior to running promotions and giveaways. His reasons to join Twitter and Instagram were fully personal, however, with time, Toms discovered that social media channels are a great way to engage and connect with sports and non-sports fans alike. However, Toms’ main focus is still not on his social media exposure but on the enjoyment that he gets out of these platforms. Skujins is active on social media and follows some of its trends, recently having joined TikTok. Toms sees that much of his engagement and brand is evolving around both his sport performances as well as his approachable personality and work ethic. Toms shares his insight on both racing and life regularly on his social channels and sees this as an aspect that is enhanced with contests and giveaways.

Picture of Toms Skujins wearing a leader's jersey during the Tour of California in 2015.
Picture of Toms Skujins wearing a leader’s jersey during the Tour of California in 2015.

What impact can social media giveaways have on sports teams or team sponsors?

“I think it’s important for any brand to have brand representatives that believe in the product, and are genuine about it”, says Toms. Therefore, athletes who organize social media giveaways not only increase their social media engagement, presence, and awareness but also help their team and sponsors achieve the same objectives. 

To have a better understanding of social media giveaways’ impact on fan engagement and sponsor promotion we reached out to Bruno Savona, Sponsorship Relationship Manager of Trek Bikes. 


Social Media promotions and Fan Campaigns are one of the main pillars of our Fan Engagement and Sponsorships Strategy. Those activations can develop the relationship between the fans, the Team and the Brands that support us, focusing on one of the main outcomes of a marketing strategy: the product. In cycling you have the possibility to have the fans using what pro riders use every day, would that be clothing, food supplements, head units, tires or even some good Italian coffee.
 
Our goal is to find a smart way to give visibility to a Sponsor’s product, keeping the fans’ engagement high and then offer them the possibility to win that product. It always works perfectly if you organize it on a solid basis and the message keeps its authenticity.


-Bruno Savona-

Sponsorship Relationship Manager of Trek-Segafredo Professional Cycling Team

The promotion: Instagram Giveaway as a way to connect with fans

Toms was looking for a fun way to give back to his online community, and a social media promotion seemed the most adequate. Toms launched his first Instagram giveaway in March when the world was being hit with a pandemic crisis. “I chose an Instagram giveaway because during this period people need some positive things in their lives”. Toms decided to give away a signed jersey to one lucky winner. 

Screenshot of Toms' instagram giveaway

The entry requirements were very simple; interested participants commented on the promotional post and mentioned two friends. “I didn’t ask people to follow me, I just asked them to engage and in return, they had an opportunity to win a prize”, explains Toms. “My only specific goal so far has been to give away a prize and make someone happy”. 

The description of the giveaway post included a link to the terms and conditions of the giveaway. This regulation, as well as the other legalities of giveaways, are important elements to consider when considering the application to use for your promotions. 

Looking to organize a giveaway on Instagram? Looking to increase engagement? It’s easy! Launch a comment-based giveaway and ask participants to mention their friends in the comments. This will not only boost your social media engagement but also make the giveaway go viral!

Toms ensured that the giveaway reached as many potential participants as possible by promoting the giveaway on Insta Stories and his Twitter account.

Toms' instagram giveaway promoted on his stories and twitter

The results of the athlete’s Instagram Giveaway

Overall, the promotion was successful in both fan engagement and exposure.

More than 1,300 users hit the “like” button, and 579 people participated in the giveaway.  “The most surprising thing was just how many people participated. It was super cool to see that people are up for it and are having fun.” 

The random winner was picked with the Easypromos Instagram Giveaway app

The athlete announced the winner on his social media pages. He also shared the certificate of validity to prove that the giveaway was automatic and transparent. 

Certificate of validity of Toms' instagram giveaway

In what other ways can athletes engage with their audience through Easypromos?

Toms uses the Easypromos platform to engage with his audience using a variety of contests and social media sweepstakes. Shortly after finalizing his Instagram giveaway, Toms launched a Mention + Hashtag Contest on Instagram and Twitter. He asked his followers to share their ideas and ways of keeping sane while #StayingatHome. Participants shared their pictures, videos, and texts for a chance to win another team jersey! 

Toms' mention and hashtag contest on instagram

“The Mention + Hashtag Contest was also a success. I am already thinking about another contest that I will probably launch next week. I haven’t decided yet which one exactly… However, there are so many options with  Easypromos that I will just go to their website and see what seems fun to do. Of course, it will be fun for people to participate,” explains Toms. 

WorldTeam Trek-Segafredo also retweeted the giveaway for extra exposure.

Toms' promotion shared on twitter by his team

Word of advice 

Toms believes that online contests and promotions are a great and easy tool to increase fan engagement, grow the audience and social media reach. His advice is very simple: “Have fun with it!” he says. The athlete suggests organizing a contest that you would like to participate in yourself. This is the best way to ensure that people will be keen to join. 

Testimonial


There is a reason why it’s called EASYpromos. It’s because the platform is super easy and simple to use. The different options they offer to run promotions on all social platforms are incredible. I usually just go on the platform and only then decide what type of contest I want to run, because I can find inspiration in what they offer. The whole process of setting up the contest until picking the winner is simple to follow and doesn’t take up much of my time either, because I do it myself as I don’t have anyone running my accounts.

-Toms Skujins-


Kamila Palka

Easypromos marketing team

Publication date: 2020-04-16