CHALLENGE The U.S. Navy needed a strategy to get people to sign up for the Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Challenge in order to build interest in the Navy as well as a database for recruitment.

INSIGHT Building on the popularity and prestige of the SEALs was a critical component of Navy recruitment. If, by using radio differently and providing the right messaging, the Navy could draw people to test themselves against the rugged fitness standards of the SEALs at local public events, that might be the answer.

SOLUTION CRN made the Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Challenge a month-long on-air radio station event. Local DJs were “recruited” to take the Challenge and talk about their training regimen and progress leading up to the widely promoted event. During that month, SEALs were interviewed on the air, stations aired fitness-training tips, and listeners were encouraged to visit the Challenge website. The Challenge itself became a major event. Radio personalities took the Challenge, broadcast live reports, and interviewed participants, SEALs, and other representatives from the Navy.

RESULT Our “reality radio” approach got more than just DJs’ blood pumping. The Navy SEALs Physical Fitness Challenge averaged 650 participants each—217% of goal—and became a successful tool in Navy recruitment.