Agency Fit- Livestrong Foundation

The Client Story

Late last decade, The Livestrong Foundation had reached the height of its popularity. With the wristbands losing their impact, Lance getting off his bike soon, and most of the free positive press surrounding him leaving as well, all signs pointed toward a plateau – if not shrinkage — in their ability to carry out their charitable missions. Livestrong was prescient enough to understand that their current Agency, which supplied the marketing and branding during the easier years that got them to where they were, might not necessarily be a good fit for them moving forward, in more challenging times.

In order to secure the foundation that had been poured, they needed to bring in a different type of agency to help them. Livestrong realized they could no longer be dependent on the luster from the millions of wristbands being sold. A more digitally focused and data-driven approach was needed in order to make a successful transition from sexy to sustainable.


The Challenge

Livestrong was receiving an acceptable return on investment on their paid media campaigns so it never occurred to them that the campaigns might not be fully optimized. With very low in-house resources for digital, no one was able to tell them that their Google Analytics wasn’t set up in a manner that gave them the correct metrics, or in a way that accurately tied spend to conversion.

They had the $10,000/month Google Grant but didn’t realize that the Grant campaign could be bumped up to GrantsPro status, giving them an extra $30,000/month in free online ads.

Also, many of the events that they were spending high dollars promoting through traditional marketing channels were not being integrated into their digital channels, making their efforts less effective. Basically, The Livestrong Foundation knew that they were not going to be able to move forward with the same type of strategy, but did not know what the barriers or challenges were.

Google Grants

Increase in Brand Awareness

Increase in Website Traffic

The Solution

Apogee’s immediate plan of action was to go in and see if there was any useful historical data in the legacy paid search accounts. After a series of audits, it became apparent that the campaigns had been set up poorly without any real goals, leading to improper conversion tracking and metrics.

After taking over the paid search accounts Apogee was also able to get the Google Grants upgrade into the GrantsPro program, resulting in a large increase in free monthly advertising. In order to bid competitively on higher priced key terms, Apogee was able to justify Livestrong spending an additional $30,000/month in paid media out of pocket by showing that the additional spend could be the driving force behind their three main objectives.

1. Fundraising (donations, e-commerce)

2. Community engagement and education

3. Cancer support

Maximized Google Grants Capacity

Huge Increases in Awareness

The Results Were Amazing

  • Maximized their Google Grants capacity, growing it four-fold to just under $500,000
  • Optimized and integrated their Google Grant spend with their out of pocket paid media to create integrated PPC and online media campaigns that were far more effective in driving a profitable e-commerce presence
  • Triple-digit increases in awareness and participation to all of their race events around the nation as well as double-digit increases in traffic to their website and donations
  • Able to stabilize and secure the foundation of an organization that had experienced an extremely rapid ascent to the top