speed demons

Organizers of the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a bicycle race that raises money for cancer research, have already seen a boost from a new online campaign designed to solicit donations.

The spot, created pro bono by Santa Monica, Calif., interactive shop Whitespeed, is being e-mailed to 10,000 cyclists and past contributors to the race, scheduled for Aug. 3-4 in Massachusetts.

The ad opens with piano music and footage of past races interspersed with text on the screen. Lines read, “3600 riders from 32 states across the nation …facing almost 200 miles …for a vision of a world without cancer.”

It was created using Whitespeed’s proprietary technology and delivered in Flash.

The spot also provides a link for viewers to contribute to the PMC’s goal of raising $15 million this year.

In its first weekend, the ad, which launched July 11, generated about $62,000 in donations.

“We’re hoping for the viral aspect to feed on itself,” said Billy Starr, executive director of Needham, Mass.-based PMC. So far, he adds, 500 recipients have passed the message on to friends.