Activation for OnDeck with Onward Denver Challenge

About the organization

Cast Influence has partnered with OnDeck, a small business lending company, to increase awareness of OnDeck among small business owners in the Denver metro area. This partnership utilized Cast Influence’s connections and expertise in the Denver market to bring more attention to OnDeck and how they can help Denver businesses grow.

OnDeck’s services include short and long term loans and lines of credit. They use a metric-based approval system that keeps the process free of bias and allows for applications to be processed and approved in as little as 24 hours. Colorado businesses have already received $226 million from OnDeck since the company started in 2007.

Goals of the Campaign

  • Increase awareness in the Denver metro area among small business owners with a particular focus on brick and mortar businesses looking for funding to expand, grow, and hire.
  • Procure this awareness through a series of media interviews on television, online, vertical trade media and radio.
  • Promote customer success stories that will resonate and promote the overall marketing effort.
  • Collaborate with marketing to assist in extending earned media coverage and exposure to syndicated social mediums, where additional audiences will see it over time.
  • Identify and vet favorable local media and advertising sponsorship opportunities that are on brand and provide significant ROI.

Cast Influence Services Utilized

  • Brand Activation
  • Public Relations
  • Content Development/Copyrighting
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Event Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • Advertising

Online Applications

+ 0% IncreaseYear over Year

Online application performance over other markets

+ 0% Higher over other markets Year over Year

Creating a reason to write! Creating news and amplifying

Cast Influence in collaboration with OnDeck created,
promoted and led OnDeck’s first ONWARD Denver Challenge
over a 3 month period. The Challenge awarded $10K, $5K,
and $3K to small business owners, in the same way tech
accelerators award tech startups.


OnDeck needed to connect with the Denver local market.
Additionally, brand identity was low and developing excitement
around the brand was needed.

Event Summary of Promotions and Effort

Create an event and wrap PR and advertising around it.

● Build and manage event project plan.
● Logistics and timeline of communications to be executed at a rapid pace.
● Solicit and confirm judges from Business 4 Breakfast, SBDC and BBB, to serve as third party endorsement.
● Crafted media alerts before, during and following the Challenge to increase awareness of OnDeck and encourage
● Created and developed Challenge deliverables such as selection of winners and scoring parameters for judges.
● Leverage personal relationships and built new relationships quickly with local press within targeted publications.
● Personally met with SBDC in both Boulder and Denver to inform them of OnDeck for ongoing relations.
● Secured OnDeck’s participation in 30 minute pitch at CreativeMornings.
● Established mediums to advertise and develop creative.
● Design and print creative assets both at event and for online use.
● Copywriting for the event landing page
● Strategic counsel to get direct linking to
● Creation of Eventbrite page, copywriting, RSVP management
● Counsel on advertising strategy. PUshed to secure OnDeck ads in ColoradoBiz newsletter in advance of Challenge.
● Created logistics for run of event.
● Built schematic of layout for event.
● Coordinated with photographers on day of event to capture optimal footage.

Results across the market

4,000+ visits to nomination landing pages for the Challenge
47 submissions to the contest
15 media and localized contact wins (including earned media around the event and other earned media wins)
26% increase in online applications
Denver performance of online application submissions is 37% higher than comparable markets
Impressions from media: 102,000
Impressions from outdoor advertising: 15,107,000
ColoradoBiz: 31,000 website visits per month, Newsletter distribution 14,000.
Westword: 478,000 monthly readers of the print, online has 4 million page views per month and 2 million
unique visitors