Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games announces marketing and creative framework

Organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have agreed a marketing and creative services framework of agencies to support the event, including PR from agencies Grayling, sports specialists Pitch and Gung Ho.

Team England netball star Ama Agbaze is interviewed at a Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth social event
Team England netball star Ama Agbaze is interviewed at a Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth social event

The three PR agencies will be vying for the opportunity to deliver services for the games over the next two years

They will also launch campaigns to drive the public towards buying one million tickets for the event, securing the services of up to 10,000 volunteers and the design and launch of the medals.

Another planned campaign is for a Queen’s Baton Relay, which will travel around the Commonwealth. The agencies will create community engagement activities around the West Midlands and England.

However, none of the agencies in the framework is guaranteed to receive any work from it and they must bid for individual elements.

The Games has appointed 10 agencies in total, working across a variety of specialisms, including PR, creative services, design, events, research, consumer insights and mascot design:

  • PR: Gung Ho, Grayling and Pitch Marketing Group
  • Design and creative services: McCann Central  
  • Events: Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS), TBA Group and DRPG
  • Mascot design and production: Rainbow Productions
  • Consumer insights and polling: BMG Research
  • Customer relationship management: Goodform 

Birmingham 2012 launched a six-month procurement process, following government procedures, which resulted in 130 bids for contracts.

Dancers perform at the ‘Three Years to Go’ celebration from Birmingham’s Centenary Square in July 2019
Dancers perform at the ‘Three Years to Go’ celebration from Birmingham’s Centenary Square in July 2019

Regional focus

Organisers said they had focused on awarding the contracts to businesses based in Birmingham or the West Midlands in order to make sure the region benefited from the potential boost of the biggest games held in the UK since the London 2012 Olympics.

Of the 10 agencies awarded contracts in the marketing and creative services framework, eight are either based in Birmingham or have offices there.

Pitch is London-based, while Grayling and Gung Ho have offices in London and Birmingham.

In addition to the agencies in the framework, MediaCom, in Birmingham, has been appointed to deliver media planning services from the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Communication Services Framework.

John Crabtree, chairman of Birmingham 2022, said: “We are living in uniquely challenging times for business, so we’re pleased to be able to demonstrate our commitment to local companies by awarding these contracts."

He added: “Adding these businesses to our marketing and creative services framework is just the start and our procurement drive continues at full speed. Backing local business is just one of the ways the Games can help to benefit the local economy and local people.”

Social purpose

The organisers of the Games said they wanted the contracts to bring benefits to the community and had built social value into the tender process for the framework.

The successful agencies have made commitments that include creating apprenticeships, upskilling local people in the creative disciplines, school outreach programmes and collaboration with local universities.

Josie Stevens, chief marketing and communications officer for Birmingham 2022, said: “The current global pandemic means that we’ll be operating in a very different environment – something we’ll need to carefully consider. The Games could be the perfect opportunity to bring the city and the country together, for an uplifting celebration of sport and culture.”

She added: “We are rising to these challenges with some bold thinking and we’ve chosen agency partners who are creatively brave, fleet-of-foot in delivery and hugely collaborative. Their passion for this city, the region and Games is clear.”

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