CAMPAIGNS: Science sports a different look - Exhibition Launch.

The Science Museum’s Science of Sport exhibition, which opened in March, is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. A hi-tech, interactive exhibition which assesses the impact of science technology on sport, it aims to reinforce the museum’s image as inspirational and accessible.

The Science Museum’s Science of Sport exhibition, which opened in

March, is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. A hi-tech,

interactive exhibition which assesses the impact of science technology

on sport, it aims to reinforce the museum’s image as inspirational and

accessible.



Objectives



To position the exhibition as educational and interactive. To attract

people who would not normally visit the museum.



Tactics



The Science Museum chose PR as the most cost-effective means of

conveying specific messages to audiences ranging from schools to

conference organisers.



A key concern was to avoid the exhibition being typecast as a glorified

theme park.



Pre-launch strategy focused on talking to over 200 target publications

to explain the project and identify different story angles. For example,

with the conference and exhibitions press, the exhibition was positioned

as an exciting alternative to more traditional entertainment venues.



One of the main aims of Science of Sport is to interest children in

sport.



Early in the campaign celebrity endorsement by Tim Henman was used to

negotiate coverage in the Times’ kids section. BBC children’s programme

Blue Peter agreed to preview the exhibition using one of its presenters

to try out the exhibits.



The focus of the campaign was a launch on 27 March, hosted by BBC Sports

anchorman Steve Rider. Kevin Keegan, Daley Thompson and other top sports

stars competed using exhibits such as a digital sprint track to

establish which sport produces the best athletes. One week before the

launch a reminder was sent to all invited press identifying the

celebrities and sports experts available for interview. Journalists

attending were advised to wear sports gear and invited to try the

exhibits themselves.



Results



The launch was attended by 250 journalists. Press coverage included

feature articles in national broadsheets and tabloids as well as in the

regional press. Sports and fitness features ran in consumer titles

ranging from Family Circle to Maxim, while the specialist sports titles

such as FourFourTwo and Runner’s World ran news and features. Education

titles and trade journals also covered the story. Broadcast exposure

included items on BBC Newsround, Channel 4’s Big Breakfast and there was

coverage on London radio stations as well as on BBC Radio One, Two and

Five Live.



Verdict



The campaign has clearly been assisted by the size and sophistication of

the exhibition and by the mass market appeal of sport. Exhibition

sponsors, such as Adidas, have helped to ensure the ongoing endorsement

of celebrities such as Keegan and Thompson, providing an important hook

for the media.



However, this was a thoroughly researched and carefully targeted

campaign which achieved widespread, positive coverage for the exhibition

and frequent mentions of its sponsors across a broad range of media.




Client: The Science Museum

PR Team: MacLaurin

Communications

Campaign: Launch of Science of Sport exhibition

Timescale: Four months to launch and ongoing

Cost: Undisclosed



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