Campaign: Dairy brand uses sport award to engage youth

Dale Farm is Northern Ireland's leading dairy food company, producing a range of products under the Dale Farm, Spelga and Dromona brands. To reinforce the latter's position as Northern Ireland's best-selling range of locally produced butters, spreads and cheese, it enlisted Morrow Communications to raise its profile.

Category Community Campaign
Dromona Sports Award – Supporting Home Grown Talent
Dale Farm
PR team
Morrow Communications

In particular, Dromona wanted high-profile sponsorship or collaborations to reach new audiences while stressing the brand ethos of healthy living and local heritage.

To promote Dromona’s link to Northern Ireland and position Dale Farm as a socially responsible organisation that prides itself in contributing to the local community.

Strategy and Plan
In Northern Ireland there is a chronic lack of support for young sports people, in terms of both inadequate funding and facilities as well as the absence of a meaningful sports ‘culture’ through which to generate more funding. While researching the ways in which Drom­ona could become more strongly associated with Northern Ireland, Morrow decided that sport would be an ideal channel. The agency chose to launch a £5,000 sports bursary to specifically support young sports people, accompanying the scheme with a Dromona Sports Award – which would help struggling athletes and encourage young people to participate in sport.

The campaign comprised three stages – the launch of the bursary and award (February), a call for entries, and the announcement of winners (May). To launch the bursary, Morrow partnered with the Ulster Sports Trust – a local charity with links to more than 50 sporting governing bodies – to help administer the award. It also liaised with Ulster Television, which became the official media partner to the scheme, agreeing to promote the bursary throughout Morrow’s campaign. The team also secured Dame Mary Peters (a former Northern Ireland Olympic gold medallist) as media spokesperson. At the launch, sporting governing bodies and media were invited to watch young sports people demonstrating their skills.

In conjunction with Ulster Sports Trust and Dale Farm, Morrow produced a shortlist of nine entries from the nominations received, with profiles of each sent to daily and regional media. The winner – Irish cycling international Ryan Connot – was unveiled at a special ceremony.

Measurement and Evaluation
A total of 75 items of press and broadcast coverage were generated. Ulster Television supported the campaign with three reports on the award launch, the shortlist of nominations and the announcement of the winner.

The scheme generated 20 nominations from 13 sports – representing the top young sports people in Northern Ireland in their respective fields. According to in-house evaluation, the print-only advertising value equivalent was £21,450, with an estimated reach of four million ‘opportunities to see’.

Dromona reports that its brand positioning has been markedly improved by the campaign, and the award will be an annual event.

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