Trans-America: Skate Cross Country was an effort built on marketing success. After ending my contract with Gymwrap, I began to plan my greatest feat yet: I was going to skateboard across the country solo.
Beginning by creating all of the marketing tools necessary, like the website, graphics, and social media buzz, I moved on to securing sponsorships. Out of 11 companies invited to participate in the journey for the advertising capabilities, 8 signed on. Many companies invested money as well as gear to promote a safe passage.
The success of marketing the journey was based on a few things: the controversial nature of the adventure, the difficultly of the route I chose, and my success in racing long distance over the previous 2 years. The controversial nature stemmed from my own gender identity as a transgender woman. Many commenters prior to departure wished me ill or publicly denounced my gender. I was pleased to find that because of this, the story went viral.
The route I chose was following a bee line straight across from Bend, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts. It was an especially difficult route, passing a continental divide, the Rocky Mountains, and over 3,600 miles- all in the beginning of winter. Because of this, many naysayers came out to tell me I couldn’t do it. While it definitely motivated me more to accomplish the goal of completing the journey, it also assisted in bewildering donors and sponsors.
My success in becoming the IDSA’s 2017 Women’s 19-29 Champion allowed me to reach out to companies for sponsorship with ease. With little doubt that I would be able to athletically handle the trouble of the adventure, confidence was boosted in sponsors and donors alike to help me financially.
My blog page which documented the adventure, Skate Cross Country, amassed 15,000 subscribers through RSS and Tumblr over a matter of 4 months. Most posts I was able to complete over the trip fell on attentive ears, and engagement was typically averaging 70% on every blog, and 80% on every Facebook post.
After completing the journey, I was featured in a large number of publications and given new opportunities to travel by skateboard. Read below:
Wear Your Voice
6 Trans and Non-Binary Creatives Describe Their Paths to Success
Women’s Wear Daily
Skateboarder Crosses Country for Transgender Rights and Awareness
Calleigh Little Keeps on Pushing
Girl is NOT a Four Letter Word
Calleigh Little is Skateboarding Across the USA Today & We’re Totally on Board
Longboard Girls Crew
TRANS-AMERICA: Meet the woman who’s skating solo across the US
Trans-America Cross Country Skate with Calleigh Little