London's youth games piggyback 2012 fever

The annual London Youth Games engages more than 20,000 young Londoners in 52 competitions over three months. Last year’s games culminated in a finals weekend at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in July.

Campaign London Youth Games 2005
Client London Youth Games Ltd
PR team Limelight Projects
Timescale May-July 2005
Budget £45,000

CSR specialist Limelight Projects was charged with continuing media
interest in the event.

To increase awareness of competitive sporting opportunities available to young people in London and promote positive images of the city's youth. To help partner organisations – including funding provider Sport England – increase participation in sport.

Strategy and Plan
Limelight secured endorsement from past and present Olympians, including former 800m and 1,500m world record holder Steve Cram, gold-medal-winning triple jumper Jonathan Edwards, and athletes Donna Fraser and Jo Fenn. London 2012 bid ambassador Nell McAndrew also got involved.

To maximise the youth games' association with London 2012, a photocall was held on the steps of City Hall in May, featuring the  capital's bid committee, Olympians and representatives from Sport England.

Young sports stars also featured at the youth finals opening ceremony, where Fraser lit an Olympic-style flame and joined Cram and Fenn to release '2012' balloons.

To portray the games as an example of Londoners' enthusiasm for sport and the city's ability to host large-scale sporting events, participants were made available for interviews.

Measurement and Evaluation
According to media analysis by Romeike, the games featured in 31
internet articles and 16 broadcast pieces. These included live packages on ITV's London Tonight and Sky Sports News, while Choice FM broadcast from Crystal Palace for the entire finals weekend. TalkSport, meanwhile, featured a three-minute interview with Fenn.

The games also generated more than 300 articles and pictures in London newspapers, including the Islington Gazette and Barnet Times.

More than 25,000 young Londoners participated, including 11,250 for the finals weekend. Thirty-eight per cent of these were from a minority background, and 13 per cent had a disability.

Footage of the finals was beamed into Trafalgar Square on decision day for the London 2012 bid. However, further PR opportunities were shelved after the 7 July bombings.

Anthony Kendall, chairman of the games' organising committee. says last year's broadcast coverage 'really took the PR campaign to new levels and the games to new audiences'.

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