Case Study

American Cider Association’s Virginia Cider Trail Case Study

Emilie Harris
October 21, 2022
 min read

Just in time for fall - check out the Virginia Cider Trail’s success

The American Cider Association launched their first passport with Bandwango on July 6, 2022. The passport, which spotlights cideries throughout Virginia, is a gamified check-in challenge that rewards passholders for visiting locations throughout the state.

The trail, which is live until June 25, 2023 includes compelling prizes like:

  • The first 100 people to check in to 10 locations will win a "Virginia is for Cider Lovers" medal
  • The person with the most check-ins each quarter will win a hooded sweatshirt
  • Each check-in enters passholders in for a chance to win the Grand Prize - a Cidery Airbnb stay!

Certain locations on the trail are also offering discounts for tours, tasting and merchandise.

“The digital cider trail is a great opportunity for Virginians and visitors alike to experience all the wonderful cideries in the Commonwealth in an easy, mobile-friendly way,” Michelle McGrath, the executive director of the American Cider Association, said.

The pass includes 35 cideries throughout the state and focuses on the many varietals of cider. Since launch, the passport has experienced a lot of in-market success, but beyond that, it’s started an engaging conversation about Virginia cider.

“We’ve been stunned by the amount of earned media the trail is getting,” shared Woodley Smith, communications manager of the American Cider Association. “We partnered with Hodges PR in Virignia to promote the trail, and they have reported that news outlets are eating it up!”

The passport’s earned strategy keeps paying off. As of late October 2022, the trail has been mentioned in 60+ stories and posts. These stories continue to be written post-launch and combined, the effect has resulted in a staggering 76 million plus media impressions since launch.

Check out some of the earned media below!

“Fall in Virginia is a beautiful and incredibly significant time for our cidery partners,” McGrath said. “We’re excited to see our Virginia Cider Trail partners celebrate this season and bounty of the commonwealth.”

Success Metrics:

  • 822 Sign-ups
  • 539 Check-ins
  • 59% Marketing Opt-In Rate

Check out the trail landing page here!

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