Campaign: Football fever grips the nation
Client: Littlewoods Football Pools
PR team: Brahm
Timescale: Dec 2006 – Jan 2007
Budget: within retainer
In January this year, Littlewoods Pools redesigned and relaunched its website, www.footballpools.com, and so Brahm, its retained PR agency, was briefed with producing a campaign that would raise awareness of the new look site and further strengthen the brand’s relationship with football and fans.
To generate awareness of www.footballpools.com among a predominantly male audience (aged 21-45) with an interest in football. To create a strong empathy between the Littlewoods Pools’ brand and football fans.
Strategy and plan
Brahm conceived the idea of producing the first-ever in-depth report on the nation’s most stressful club to watch. The report would look at 20 years of ups and downs for all 92 English league clubs.
To find out what leaves supporters pulling their hair out, Brahm first surveyed supporters (via footballpools.com) on a range of stress factors. Promotion and relegation battles, penalty shootouts and financial difficulties provided the criteria on which the ‘Football Fever Report’ was based. The report ranked clubs in order of the most stressful to watch, with Notts County emerging as the most stressful club to support, while Liverpool was adjudged to be the least painful to follow.
With the report poised to go live on footballpools.com, the PR team produced a press release and embargoed the story to run on FA Cup third round weekend – a key date for millions of fans. This was followed by the story being sold-in exclusively to Daily Telegraph football columnist Jim White, and through the Press Association to give it a wider news reach.
Brahm organised a media day at Notts County’s Meadow Lane ground to provide opportunities to interview fans and club and Littlewoods Pools spokespeople about the report. A frenzied day of live and pre-recorded TV and radio interviews ensued, creating a buzz around the stadium and the media.
Measurement and evaluation
The campaign generated nine national newspaper and broadcast hits, including The Sun, The Guardian, Daily Sport and BBC Radio 5 Live. A full-page exclusive appeared in Jim White’s Daily Telegraph football column and in-depth features were screened on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday and John Barnes’ Football Night on Channel 5.
Hits to www.footballpools.com quadrupled during the week the report was launched. Registrations among customers signing up to play Littlewoods Pools’ portfolio of games also tripled. Keyword searches went up 63 per cent, while the number of page views on footballpools.com increased by 45 per cent in the week following the launch.