Crabtree Boat Race Festival

Creating the only place to experience the Boat Race

Project Brief

The annual Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race brings thousands of people from across the UK to line the River Thames. Over a number of years, we scaled up the Crabtree Boat Race Festival and the promotional marketing to become Greene King's biggest trading day of all time.


Creative Strategy
Social Media
Social PPC
Email Marketing


Once upon a time, a handful of customers would show up to the Crabtree in Hammersmith to watch the Boat Race, and now it is an event that takes 6 months’ worth of planning. 6 live acts, 20 screens, 7 street food stalls, including a wood-burning pizza oven, 8 bars and an amazing view of the river all make the #crabtreeboatrace the only place to experience the Boat Race.


With the success of the Crabtree Boat Race Festival, we decided to develop a mark that could be added to all marketing material each year to improve awareness of the festival.


The races only lasts a couple of hours so we wanted to create more of an all-day experience that customers could enjoy for as long as they wanted. Every year we pull on some of the best local and emerging music talent, and partner with liquor suppliers who sponsor as many as 6 acts, so that we could have live music playing non-stop throughout the day.


We made a range of creative using the Crabtree Boat Race Festive mark that could be used across social media, in-pub posters, flyers and email marketing to promote awareness of the event.

Targeted ads

With the Boat Race being a national event, we wanted the reach of our festival to be further than just the local area to the pub. We created a range of different social ads, targeting people across the UK who were likely to attend the Boat Race in London. The ads targeted people with different creative, to show us which were the most successful in eliciting engagement with the Facebook event page.


On the Crabtree website, we created a stand-alone page for the festival to improve search engine position when searching for a venue to watch the race, and to update with news, announcements of the acts performing, food offer, previous years’ photos and sponsors.