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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

CATWALK by Catmosphere

Entered in Non-Profit


In the context of world-leading cat conservation charity, Panthera, working to secure a future for the Arabian Leopard in its native habitat, in 2019 we were asked to raise awareness for Big Cat conservation. We created a foundation called Catmosphere as a vehicle by which to achieve this objective through a variety of activities.

Catmosphere has two objectives: to raise awareness for the crucial work in Big Cat conservation; and to produce inspiring campaigns sharing stories and facts about the conservation of Big Cats. With many of the world’s wild cat species staring into the face of extinction, Catmosphere’s efforts focus on raising awareness for the seven big cats: Leopards, Lions, Cheetahs, Pumas, Leopards, Tigers, and Jaguars, with a special focus on the Arabian Leopard.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began it became rapidly clear that mapping a future for Big Cats isn’t an isolated issue. The pandemic made it apparent to everyone, everywhere, that all our wellbeing is interconnected. Our response to achieving our foundation’s mission during trying times is how CATWALK was born.  As Catmosphere’s inaugural campaign, Catwalk responded to the ever-shifting parameters of the pandemic by taking the form of an up-to-7km virtual walk, open to everyone, of all abilities, wherever they were on the 6th November 2021. With the aim of activating fitness and learning, its hope was to create a community that is not only informed but also invested, and whose engagement in the support of Big Cat conservation becomes ongoing.

Strategy and Execution

The uncertain future faced by Big Cats is a direct result of the destruction and loss of their environments. All Bic Cat species are threatened by habitat loss, and the tiger, lion, cheetah and leopard have disappeared from between 65% and 96% of their historic ranges.

During these uncertain times, we decided that, in order to raise awareness about Big Cats, we could not ignore the wider health implications of the environment and ourselves. We created Catmosphere’s inaugural campaign, Catwalk, as an invite to get active in nature, and in doing so underlined the critical need that Big Cats have for their natural habitats, while simultaneously triggering appreciation of the physical and mental benefits of doing sports outside.

In the run up to Catwalk’s event date of the 6th November 2021, participants learned about the Big Cats through conservation content that we shared through our social media platforms and newsletters. Registrants of the Catwalk were encouraged to dedicate to their Catwalk distance their favorite Big Cat. The Big Cat they dedicated their walk to became their Cat Crew. The Cat Crew that collectively walked the furthest distance was crowned the 2021 Winning Cat.

To ensure inclusion and accessibility, our message of asking participants to walk up-to-7 kilometers on the 6th of November 2021, also included a call to participate in Catwalk Cubs, a much shorter 700-meter walk with an added on an activity such as swimming, running, or climbing a tree which correlated to participants chosen Big Cat characteristic. The shorter distance was designed for children and families.

In 2021, the honour of the Winning Cat was taken by the Leopard, with the majority of participants registering in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and therefore dedicating their distance to the Arabian Leopard (a reflection of the nation’s current active programme to secure a future for the Arabian Leopard in its historical territory).

With international participation registered in 102 countries by over 27,000 people, and a collective global walk distance of over 150,000km, the campaign’s objective was achieved. Big Cat awareness-raising took place, and a nation whose indigenous leopard population is facing extinction is now celebrating the Arabian Leopard en masse. This was further reflected in early 2022, when the Saudi Council of Ministers declared that henceforth the 10th of February every year would be known as Arabian Leopard Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the Arabian Leopard and the work of the Arabian Leopard Fund (one of Catmosphere’s partners).


Catwalk’s success was a result of international collaborations, by partners large and small, private and public. Catwalk inspired these partners to leverage their own networks, resulting in exponential outreach. Not only did we see our goal of awareness raising realized, but Catwalk was also a catalyst for:

- Social media reach 411.6 million.

- Media pitching resulted in over 300 million views.

- 1.8 million social media interactions.

- Establishing Arabian Leopard Day in Saudi Arabia on the 10th of February from 2022 onwards as announced by the Council of Ministers in January 2022.

- Activating almost 10,000 volunteers.

- Over 70 healthcare and wellness groups present at organized Catwalks.

- Over 15 hiking groups answering the call to join our awareness raining efforts.

- At least 2 environmental clean-ups took place as a sideline event.

- Dozens of artistic initiatives set up by local artists in support of raising awareness for Big Cat conservation.

- Many wheelchair users took part in multiple locations.

- Hundreds of children’s activations were provided by registrants of Catwalk.

- 3 tree planting initiatives were put together by local Cooperatives and NGOs.

The team at Catmosphere can proudly say that:

On the 6th of November 2021

Over 27,000 people in 102 countries

Joined a 7km, Global Mass Participation Walk and together walked over

150,000 km to secure a future for Big Cats

Achieving one of the world’s largest conservation awareness raising walks in 24 hours in multiple locations!



Video for CATWALK by Catmosphere

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