Scottish cyclist and adventurer, Mark Beaumont, recently broke the Guinness World Record for circumnavigation by bicycle in 78 days, 14 hours, and 40 minutes – an incredible feat captured and shared with the world by South African sports production agency, MoonSport. The record was previously held by New Zealander, Andrew Nicholson, who in 2015 managed the feat in 123 days.
When approached by the world-renowned cyclist to cover his 80 day circumnavigation, MoonSport couldn’t turn down the privilege and challenge of such a complex, global production. “Being part of a team that breaks a world record offers a sense of achievement like no other,” says Trent Key, MD, MoonSport. “Professional sportsmen don’t get to where they are easily and our team had to match that intense commitment.”
Mark Beaumont used the Artemis World Cycle as an opportunity to raise funds for Orkidstudio, a small charity dedicated to uplifting communities through innovative architecture and construction, such as the Sachibindu hospital in northern Zambia.
“As soon as I met Philip Key, CEO, and Trent Key, MD, of MoonSport Productions, I felt I’d met a media partner with the same amount of passion and vision as I have and I knew then that they would be able to bring my 80 day circumnavigation by bicycle alive. Rather than talking about the ‘if’, the conversation was immediately about the ‘when’ and the ‘how’. The focus was on creating a global social media journey, as well as a documentary that would reset history—if successful.” – Mark Beaumont.
MoonSport was tasked to find a crew that would work for 80 days non-stop, 16 hours a day, and in very challenging conditions. The team gathered footage for the documentary, and also gathered daily content for social media. This included Mark’s website run by 80 Days Digital, as well as the international press (managed by PR company, Muckle Media). Moonsport was also responsible for the management of Mark’s social media pages including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Daily content included stills, daily previews, reviews, weekly wraps, and incident videos.
The team covered 16 countries: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Mongolia, China, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada Portugal and Spain. They travelled in two motorhomes and were the only two team members to stay with Mark for every single day of the race.
“As soon as we landed, I knew we were in for one hell of an adventure.” – Helmut Scherz, Cinematographer and Soundman
“One epic adventure that will never be forgotten. We are very proud to have made history with Mark and the team.” – Johnny Swanepoel, Content director, Photographer and Editor
Supported 24/7 by Emanuel Fereira back in the Cape Town, the team would get up at 3:30am every morning and film Mark’s morning preview, edit the material, and then send it through to base. Approvals for content were often only through Whatsapp with the UK management team. Despite the fact that the team faced mental and physical fatigue, minimal resources, challenges with signal and communication, language barriers, losing a drone in Canada, and even having a vehicle collision in Australia, they got the job done.
“With the nature of such an extreme expedition, everyone involved worked under huge pressure, but with a solid media team on the road and back in Cape Town, we have successfully achieved what we set out to achieve, and MoonSport has captured this epic journey with wonderful and unique content,” adds Mark Beaumont.
To date, the campaign has generated a global reach of over 500 million (514,154,966) with social media content views exceeding 5 million, a number that is still rising! “This campaign has shown us that the impossible is actually quite possible, and that social media is a truly powerful tool if content is engaging, organic and interesting,” concludes Trent Key.