Campaign: Arsenal celebrates 20 years of local spirit - Community Liaison

Campaign: Arsenal in the Community's 20th anniversary

PR team: Arsenal FC in-house team

Timescale: 21-28 February

Budget: In-house resources

On 25 February 2005, the 'Arsenal in the Community' department turned 20 and decided to commemorate the milestone with a week of celebrations. Objectives

To raise public and staff awareness of the work undertaken by the club's community department.

Strategy and Plan

The club used its intranet, matchday programme and bespoke presentation to inform staff and the local media of the week's events. For the first event fans bidded to be part of a special access day, as press officer, Kate Lewis, describes: 'Fans arrived in the morning for a champagne reception, before a tour of the ground and a look at the Premiership trophy. At lunch they sat in the audience of Sandi Toksvig's live show on London radio station, LBC 97.3FM and all proceeds went to Arsenal's charity of the season, ChildLine.'

On Tuesday, two local primary schools held soccer schools and heard from representatives of ChildLine about bullying.

On Wednesday, Charlie George, hero of 1970s Arsenal side, met OAPs who have played bowls every week for 20 years at the club's sports hall.

On Thursday, club captain, Patrick Vieira, and stadium manager, Keith Edelman, answered children's questions on the club's new stadium. On Friday a 'Girls-Only' soccer session took place in the club's sports hall.

On Sunday, Arsenal hosted the first ever London Visually Impaired League Tournament for under-16s in association with the RNIB and the London Visually Impaired Forum. Two hundred members of the public saw an educational exhibition in the club's hospitality suite.

Measurement and Evaluation

Sky Sports News covered half of the activities and spoke to three Arsenal FC spokespeople. Patrick Vieira's involvement was covered on Telefoot, France's flagship football show.

BBC Radio Five Live and Virgin Radio covered Thursday's event.

The three local weekly newspapers, the Islington Gazette, Highbury & Islington Express, and Islington Tribune, all covered the events. Further publicity came from ticket giveaways on BBC London, Capital Gold and LBC 97.3FM, and in the Daily Express, Sunday Mirror, News of the World and London Metro.

Results

The LBC 97.3FM's broadcast raised over £3,000 for ChildLine. Doug Gratton, sports editor of the Highbury & Islington Express, comments: "The PR team warned us well in advance, and came up with interesting angles. It wasn't just Vieira in a playground; it was Vieira talking to schoolchildren about an important issue'.

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