CAMPAIGNS: Women tune in to football thanks to JPR - Media Relations

Client: The Football Association
Agency: Joe Public Relations
Campaign: Women's Football/Girls Get Involved
Timescale: April - May
Budget: £20,000

Women's football is the fastest-growing sport among females in the UK, according to the Football Association. The AXA Women's FA Cup Final on 6 May was the first-ever women's football match shown live on the BBC.

The match, at London's Selhurst Park, was between Fulham and Doncaster Belles, and was televised on BBC1.

A Women's World Cup 2003 qualifier saw England take on Germany on 19 May at the same venue and was televised live on Sky Sports.

As the FA's newly appointed marketing and PR agency, Joe Public Relations was charged with working with the FA to boost awareness and attendance at these matches, which were billed as the two biggest games in the women's football calendar.

Objectives

To boost ticket sales and to ensure consistent communication of match details. To work with the FA and the BBC to secure record viewing figures for the cup final. To achieve a crowd attendance of more than 10,000. To break the record attendance of 8,800 for a women's international football match at the World Cup qualifier.

To achieve coverage across national and regional press and broadcast media.

Strategy and Plan

Flyers and posters were distributed to county FA centres and 500 schools.

Promotional materials for the World Cup qualifier were also sent to London-based German companies and language schools to drum up support for the opposition.

The agency capitalised on the existing media interest in women's football as the most popular female sport in the UK. JPR had access to the team managers and players for interview, photo opportunities - and to prompt discussion on the women's game.

Human interest stories and match previews were pitched to national and regional newspapers, teen magazines, TV listings and to national and regional broadcast media. Ticket competitions were secured in the regional press.

Measurement and Evaluation

More than 64 pieces of positive media coverage were achieved for the cup final, and 18 were in national newspapers, including TV listings and 'what's on' guides. Thirty national broadcast pieces were aired on national and local radio and there were 16 regional pieces.

Out of the 17 pieces of pre-match national and regional newspaper coverage, 82 per cent mentioned that the match was live on BBC1.

For the England v Germany match, 21 pieces of positive media coverage were achieved, 12 of which were in the national press, seven regional pieces and two consumer pieces in J17 and Women's Health.

Out of the seven pieces of pre-match national and regional newspaper coverage, every piece gave match and ticket details.

Results

More than 2.5 million people tuned in to BBC1 to watch the cup final - won by Fulham - and 10,244 fans attended the stadium.

A record UK attendance of 14,107 was achieved for the Germany game.

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