Group Nine Media Launches New Effort to Raise Awareness for Ocean Health and Plastic Pollution with Cross-Branded Social Good Campaign #JoinTheSwim

Week-Long Campaign Marks Next Step of Historic Journey by Ben Lecomte Across the Pacific and Into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

#JoinTheSwim is First Social Good Campaign to be Supported Across All Group Nine Media Brands
Company Release
December 4, 2018

New York, NY (December 4, 2018) – Group Nine Media, the no. 1 digital publisher on social, today announced the launch of a company-wide cross-brand social good campaign, #JoinTheSwim, in an effort to raise awareness around ocean health and plastic pollution. The campaign builds on the endeavor of Ben Lecomte’s historic mission to be the first person to swim across the Pacific with the intent of raising global awareness about ocean pollution. Lecomte risked his life encountering numerous obstacles including unprecedented storms, sharks and illness aboard the boat. The world record attempt was recently derailed by irreparable damage of the boat’s sail, but Lecomte and his crew are determined to complete a critical part of the mission by collecting valuable data in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch before turning to American soil.

#JoinTheSwim will launch as Lecomte nears the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and includes content from Group Nine’s four brands - Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, and Seeker - along with The Swim partner, Discovery Channel, which will all create bespoke content for their respective digital and linear audiences in support of this noteworthy cause. To date, Seeker has created over 100 pieces throughout The Swim to raise awareness of the severity of single use plastics; #JoinTheSwim marks the next step in the company’s commitment to highlighting this issue. 

“We always knew Ben’s expedition would shine a light on the plastic pollution issue, but we never thought it would be as bad as it is. Throughout the nearly 2000 miles of Ben’s Pacific journey, he has encountered garbage and plastic pollution every single day. Seeker, along with all of its Group Nine sister brands, are mission-driven publishers that aim to spark action, which is why we want to invite our viewers around the world to #JoinTheSwim to not only raise their awareness of the dire straits of our oceans, but also encourage them to reduce their own single-use plastic waste,” said Group Nine’s Chief Brand Officer, Suzanne Kolb. “Nearly 45 million people engage with Group Nine brands’ content every day and we’re confident that by launching #JoinTheSwim across all of our properties that we can raise awareness of this issue.”

Content will be distributed to millions of viewers across Facebook, Facebook Watch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook Live and linear TV on Discovery Channel with topics ranging from debunking that notion that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an isolated area; teaching viewers about how many microfibers are released from their clothes -- and into the ocean -- with every wash; and how plastic pollution is dissolving our seafloor. The Dodo will tell the story of the albatross that Ben Lecomte and the crew encountered and how that species is especially impacted by plastic pollution. NowThis will conduct and publish an exclusive interview with Lecomte. 

More than just a swim, “The Swim” is the first citizen science expedition of its kind. In collaboration with 27 science institutions including NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Ben and his crew have already collected nearly 1100 samples along the way in an effort to learn more about plastic pollution, mammal migrations, extreme endurance and even long term spaceflight. Ben and his crew will highlight the actions of their NGO partners, including Ocean Voyages Institute and Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and raise awareness of plastic pollution and climate change.

For more information on The Swim and to see the other trials and tribulations the Seeker vessel has experienced along the way, head to

About Group Nine:
Group Nine Media is one of the world's largest digital-first media companies and the #1 publisher on Facebook Watch, boasting over 5 billion monthly video views [source: Crowd platform specific analytics modules] and reaching over 80% of U.S. adults in their 20s [source: Nielsen]. With over 120 million social engagements each month [source: ListenFirst Media], Group Nine's brands are built for consumption on the platforms where young people spend the majority of their time. Group Nine is home to NowThis (the no. 1 most watched social news brand in the world), The Dodo (the no. 1 animal brand on social), Thrillist (the most trusted digital brand in food, drink, travel & entertainment) and Seeker (the no. 1 most engaged science publisher in the U.S. on social). Group Nine recently acquired Emmy nominated, Cannes Lion and Sundance Film Festival award-winning production studio, JASH.



April Mellody

Group Nine Media

(646) 218-9312

Pierce White

Group Nine Media

(646) 218-9312

(646) 218-9312


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