PR Team: In-house and JCPR
Campaign: Sprite Urban Games
Timescale: December 1999 - 4 August 2000
The Sprite Urban Games were held on London’s Clapham Common for the
second year running from Friday 4 - Sunday 6 August. The event is the
brainchild of Board-X, the extreme sports event organiser. The Urban
Games feature a number of types of street culture, including
graffiti-art, skateboarding, BMX-ing and breakdancing. This year’s event
also had a sound stage that attracted artists such as Rae and Christian,
and the Herbaliser.
To bring extreme sports to a wider audience and to attract enough press
coverage to both pull in the crowds and beat last year’s festival
attendance figures. To raise the profile of Board-X and establish it as
the premier extreme sports organiser.
Strategy and Plan
The planning started in December and intensified as the festival
approached. Originally all PR for the event was handled by JCPR, until
Board-X employed Lucie Wallis to head its in-house team.
The target audience was 14-to 35-year-olds, from around the UK.
Initially Board-X examined the trends of skate and BMX consumers by
assessing extreme sports magazines and their readership.
Once the target interest group was identified, adverts were placed in
niche magazines, including Knowledge, Sidewalk and Surfer. But the
organisers also wanted to reach other potentially interested parties
which called for national media coverage.
A press event was organised for the Friday afternoon which attracted the
London Today programme and Radio 5 Live from the broadcast media, along
with representatives from the satellite channels Nickelodeon, MTV, Sky
One and the Channel 5’s Rad. There were also a couple of documentary
crews filming at the event (one for BBC 2).
Pre-event media coverage was also secured in monthly style magazines,
such as Sleazenation, Dazed and Confused and Jockey Slut.
Co-sponsors of the event (along with drinks brand Sprite) were trainer
companies Vans and Etnies, leading bicycle manufacturers GT, new men’s
toiletry range So, satellite channel Trouble TV and web-site
Trouble TV took an outdoor broadcast van to the Urban Games for visitors
to record messages (’shouts’) to their friends to be aired on the
Other major brands also had a presence, including music equipment
company Gemini which erected a scratch tent where DJs competed for
The Schwheppes’ Sprite was omnipresent but the new energy drink company
Diamond Red was giving away samples and Morgan’s Spiced Rum had a
DJ-hosted tent which also offered free drinks.
Playstation/Dreamcast machines where also at the site, and visitors
could play the Sega game Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX (Radar PR covered the
Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign resulted in pre-festival coverage in a range of national
The London Today slot served as a massive boost to the campaign. The
programme presented a live broadcast from Clapham Common that aired
following its coverage of the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday
Broadsheets such as the Independent, the Guardian and the Times devoted
column inches to the event. Among other papers to carry articles were
the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror.
A diverse range of magazines such as Time Out, J17, Level, Front, and
Health and Fitness also provided considerable coverage.
Last year an estimated 12,000 people turned up to the event and, this
time round, the figure topped the 20,000 mark, including competitors and
Thanks to the enormous amount of press coverage attained, Sprite Urban
Games attracted the highest attendance figures for an extreme sporting
event in the UK.
The event managed to attract sponsorship from a number of recently
launched brands that are being targeted at the same young audience.
Attendance was almost double that of last year, indicating that the
campaign succeeded in reaching its target audience. It also acquired new
visitors, as set out in the initial brief.