CAMPAIGN: King of Shaves recruits ‘Young Blades’ for 2012

For the last four years, male cosmetics brand King of Shaves (KoS) has supported young athletes through its Young Blades initiative.

Campaign: Young Blades
Client: King of Shaves
PR team: Threepipe and in-house
Timescale: January – April 2007
Budget: Undisclosed

In January 2007, King of Shaves brought Three­pipe on board to help find 12 youngsters with a chance of competing at the London Olympic Games in 2012. The athletes would get financial support and the scheme would be linked to KoS’ elite sporting ambassadors – Chelsea FC and England captain John Terry and skeleton Olympic silver medal winner Shelley Rudman.

To relaunch the Young Blades programme for 2007, attracting entries from top young athletes, while maximising KoS brand awareness and leveraging KoS brand ambassadors Terry and Rudman.

Strategy and plan
Threepipe and KoS devised a two-stage strategy.

Stage one was a call to action for young athletes to apply to join the Young Blades via a campaign micro-site at

A press release invited online applications, with quotes from Terry and Rudman endorsing the scheme. The release was issued 2012 days before London 2012, and sold in to national, online and kids titles. Specialist sporting media and sports governing bodies were targeted to reach committed athletes, their coaches and their parents.

The KoS team selected five new athletes aged between 12-19 and representing a wide cross-section of sports to join the existing 2007 Young Blades group.

Stage two was a media reveal of the Young Blades. Threepipe negotiated the use of Fitrooms, a gym close to Stamford Bridge, and the national press, PA News, Sky Sports, ITV’s London Tonight and BBC 5 Live were invited to a press call. Knowing the importance of creating a dramatic, news­worthy picture, a photo-opportunity was created with Terry sparring in a boxing ring with one of the Young Blades.

To ensure strong coverage in the football pages, a separate press conference with Terry was held with football hacks.

Finally, on launch day, a series of one-to-one media interviews were held with BBC Inside Sport, the Sunday Times, News of the World and BBC 5 Live.

Measurement and evaluation
The call for entries achieved coverage in 28 media, including 13 specialist sports publications, delivering branded media coverage for KoS with an AVE in access of £1,630,201. The total reach of all media coverage was calculated at 32,685,307.

The launch event was covered in The Sun, The Mirror, The Times, Daily Mail, The Express, Daily Star and The Independent. Each piece carried a KoS/Young Blades branded image.

Broadcast coverage included London Tonight, Sky Sports News and BBC Radio 5 Live. An exclusive John Terry interview with Gabby Logan appeared on new BBC sports show Inside Sport.

The branding on Inside Sport was so visible, it even generated follow up stories from sports columnists in the Daily Mail and The Guardian.

The KoS website tracked a 40 per cent increase in traffic to the site following the John Terry event. The campaign attracted over 200 applications from promising young athletes, and KoS has recruited a group of the UK’s finest young athletes to develop into the next generation of Olympic performers.

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