Edwards T.E.S.T.

Testing Teamwork, Endurance, and Strength
Milmark Award Winner

Installation: 412th FSS, Edwards AFB
Category: Creativity & Innovation
Year: 2023

Campaign Summary

The Edwards T.E.S.T. (Team Edwards Squadron Throwdown) was a functional fitness competition designed to challenge teamwork, endurance, and strength. The one-day event series took place across three venues. Our campaign sought to rebrand the Edwards Fitness Center while appealing to two unique audiences.

Relevance to Category (Creativity & Innovation)

Edwards T.E.S.T. was not our typical morale, welfare, and recreation fitness event. The concept took practical gym use to a higher level while encouraging friendly competition and camaraderie. Utilizing a live competition portal for the duration of the campaign sparked the competitive spirit before the event began.

The event was the answer to fitness customer demands who were not only looking for a different gym experience but one that would give them bragging rights.

Additionally, Edwards T.E.S.T. sought to inspire the entire community through a show of tenacity, towards the benefits of a fitness lifestyle.

Campaign Overview/Objectives

Our Fitness team wanted to deliver a cross-functional fitness event to the base-wide community with a real-time leaderboard to rival commercial fitness competitions. The objective was to execute a full-day event ideal for individuals of any fitness level to compete or enjoy recreational sports across three unique venues. The program was developed to encourage health for Active Duty, Civilians, and dependents throughout the community. Participant incentives would include a branded medal and a custom trophy for the winning team. A spectator challenge area surrounding the competition floor would provide additional recreational activities during scoring and competition breaks.

We were tasked to bolster participation through a Facebook event page containing a link to a competition portal and the usage of the hashtags #EdwardsTest and #PrepareToThrowdown. The competition portal would streamline participant sign- ups, event marketing, branding, and a live event feed. Our objective was to pre-register 72 participants and encourage spectator attendance. $10K of commercial sponsorship was in demand to provide on-site demonstrations as well as custom participant t-shirts and branded medals. The event was dubbed Edwards T.E.S.T. (Team Edwards Squadron Throwdown).

412th FSS Marketing Team

Timeka Alesia Lucio, Marketing Director

Emily Thornburg, Commercial Sponsorship Coordinator/Marketing Assistant

Tanna Ayres-Choice, Visual Information Specialist

Emily Bostwick, Visual Information Specialist

Jaelyn Ureta, Digital Media Assistant

Insights & Strategy

A focus on functional fitness led to the development of Edwards T.E.S.T. Based on research conducted by the Fitness Center team, usage of the facility had been declining within the last year and feedback on the facility’s equipment was mid-range between positive and negative. The Fitness Center was not receiving the expected traffic it desired from younger Airmen and Civilians. The goal was to re-brand the Fitness Center and showcase its full capabilities. A recent installation of an Air Force blue running track offered the perfect opportunity to utilize the space for a ground-breaking fitness extravaganza. The timing of Edwards T.E.S.T. was perfect.

Concept/Big Idea

12 teams, one champion. 12 teams would compete in the functional fitness competition, but only one would be crowned victorious. Additional activities would be made available throughout the competition arena for participants who did not want to sign up for the competition and spectators. The competition would further open its reach to recreational sporting fans by providing opportunities at bowling, the golf course, and activities with outdoor recreation. Commercial Sponsors and community partners would add to the event festivities by offering interactive exhibition booths.

Tactics/Creative Execution

Edwards T.E.S.T. was introduced with a series of teaser videos throughout the late summer featuring Wing Leadership alongside Enlisted Airmen. The videos were posted to an event page where participants were led to a competition portal to obtain more information about the event and sign up. To complement the teasers, we developed an informational graphic designed to be broadcast through Town Hall livestreams hosted by the Wing discussing upcoming FSS events. The infographic provided a step-by-step explanation of the event.

In July, we designed a fitness-themed graphic for social media, digital screens, live broadcasts, and print signage with a QR code for the competition portal. We incorporated the brand’s colors and aesthetic to resonate with the target audience. We also released an information sheet outlining the objective of the event, registration guidance, the “what’s in it for me”, and snippets of the pre-developed workouts for the competition.

Our goal with the strategy was to achieve high visibility, and maximum reach on all major platforms to encourage influencers to help send the message and obtain at least 72 sign-ups. We wanted to achieve superior engagement on social media and crush our sponsorship goal of $10K to provide additional event enhancements.


The campaign for Edwards T.E.S.T. eclipsed our goal of 72 participants with a total of 300. While we fell slightly short of our commercial sponsorship goal of $10K, we garnered $6K in cash support and $1300 worth of in-kind live demonstrations between a total of 7 industry-related sponsors. 88 participants signed up for recreational sports through golf and bowling.

A post-event survey suggested that the reception of the event was favorable with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

During the Edwards T.E.S.T. campaign, engagement on our social media platforms increased by 77% from the previous month. Content posted or shared relating to the event averaged 300 views per post. One participant was quoted as saying, “I hope this little flame ignited creates something for years to come and gets people excited.”

Brand Building

We built our FSS brand through research and collaboration. Our marketing team allocated time to discuss the needs of the Fitness Center with managers to gain a deeper understanding of the target market. We also worked with the fitness team to develop and release a Fitness Center Customer Survey to gain further insight into the behaviors of the patrons, zeroing in on their demands and identifying their headaches when it comes to fitness and sports.

Partnering with the Community Services team enabled us to market fitness and sports-related activities such as bowling, golf, and outdoor games which were more recreational and less competitive. As a result, our messaging and experience appealed to two different types of customers.

The brand was able to grow by making consistent use of digital platforms, testing out a new informational portal, and utilizing installation influencers to fuel attendance and enthusiasm for a brand-new event experience.

Additional Information/Insights

Edwards T.E.S.T. was a challenging campaign that not only tested endurance, strength, and teamwork on a fitness competition floor but also creative collaboration within a market that is uniquely Edwards Air Force Base. After the campaign, competition participants and spectators alike demanded more.