PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2021: Marketing Communications: Sport & Entertainment, Arts & Media

This award was won by The Romans for its work for Sports Direct, which used a targeted approach in encouraging the public to reach their fitness goals.

'Fast and Slow' by The Romans for Sports Direct
'Fast and Slow' by The Romans for Sports Direct

Winner – 'Fast and Slow', The Romans for Sports Direct

When given the all-too-common sports brand springtime brief of encouraging the public to smash their fitness goals, The Romans decided to take a more targeted approach.

With Ramadan approaching, it identified that 80 per cent of young Muslims – an often overlooked audience – were concerned about how to train during their fast and that many wanted to see more conversation about the topic on social media. And so began the 'Fast and Slow' campaign, which started with identifying a series of key partners including runner Haroon Mota, Safiyyah Syeed (AKA The Hijabi Boxer) and rugby player Zainab Alema.

These key figures shared their own guidance and experiences of training during Ramadan, with a central message encouraging Muslims to fast, and at the same time to continue to train, albeit slowly. Topics focused on everything from motivation through to hydration and recovery, with content shared on Sports Direct’s owned and social channels, as well as through media relations. 

The stars of the campaign were so engaged that they posted 73 per cent more content than contracted, gaining impressive engagement rates averaging 23 per cent, while 'Fast and Slow' was also Sport Direct’s most successful campaign on TikTok. It was covered by 40 titles, garnering write-ups in the likes of GQ, Marie Claire and Metro, with all articles including two or more of its key messages. Sports Direct, which is implementing an elevation strategy and seeking to demonstrate a dedication to the communities it serves, was delighted. 

The judges said

A very targeted campaign about changing behaviour with a clear audience and commercial objective that demonstrated a brand that cares. Well crafted, relevant and timely. It leads the way.

Highly Commended – 'Fabric of the Community', W Communications and Brothers & Sisters for Grenfell Athletic FC

For this pro bono campaign W and Brothers & Sisters created a poignant football kit for Grenfell Athletic FC, a community-based club created in the aftermath of tragedy. Sent out to 72 luminaries including footballer Harry Kane and rapper AJ Tracey, sales of the kit prompted by coverage helped to raise more than £30,000 for the club in 48 hours. 


'BeanOLD' by Taylor Herring for Beano Studios

'Bombay Sapphire Supermarket' by Ogilvy PR with AMV BBDO and the Design Museum for Bombay Sapphire

'Get It Right From A Genuine Site' by Tin Man for Creative Content UK

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