With less than seven-weeks until event day, BIG little LDN were brought in to manage the development, execution and ongoing PR for the UK’s first two-day football festival, Jumpers For Goalposts.
With over 30 panel discussions and 150 panelists across made up of journalists, presenters, authors and enthusiasts. With such a rich content schedule, part of the challenge was to ensure individual stories did not get lost and key topics of the festival were spotlighted for specific press titles in order to drive awareness and ticket sales.
Part of our brief was to not just engage the football community but to also attract and encourage an audience outside of your traditional fan to come and experience a side of the sport they perhaps hadn’t considered before, like alternative careers for women in football, football shirt design or how technology is changing the future of the game.
First, we needed to research all participants and festival content to quickly identify what the key, newsworthy topics were.
We identified four main angles - growth of grassroots, the rise of female football, retro football and a general, “What’s On London”. As well as these we had smaller focuses around the engaging children’s content, technology in football and how football and fashion has started to overlap.
With only seven weeks until event day, the above had to happen within a week as well as the writing and signing off of all four press releases with participant quotes.
We quickly established the top tier publications we’d like to secure for each angle and in week two began pitching each story, as well as engaging with participants to ensure we gained as much momentum via their social channels, blogs and podcasts.
We also liaised with certain participants, organising dates and times they’d be available for press interviews, which gave them a platform to promote themselves and their own agenda as well as the festival itself.
The reason behind the urgency was to ensure we not only met editorial print deadlines, giving readers plenty of time to plan ahead and purchase tickets, but also capitalised on the what we knew would be a short window of opportunity around the Women’s World Cup and the strong array of female focussed content.
As well as the PR strategy and liaison we created a weekly newsletter which focussed on a different element of the festival each week, always drawing people to the ticket page. We also had access to Twitter and Instagram in the run up to the festival and managed all social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) across the two event days, setting the direction and working closely with the photographer and videographer throughout.
In the run up to the event, we created a social media competition in partnership with our existing client Golazio. This partnership was a natural opportunity to cross pollinate audiences and help increase social media followers and engagement.
Security on the door informed us people were turning up on the day to purchase tickets because of the hype they had seen on social media.
Secured double page spread in Time Out (print, pictured above) and “Things to do” feature (online), Stylist Magazine, ES GOLondon, Hackney Gazette and two fifteen minute interviews on talkSPORT - one with Hawksbee and Jacobs and one with Natalie Sawyer and Chris Iwelumo. Watch the studio footage.
Coverage was also secured on participant channels including the London FA, Outside Write, Women in Football, True Colours Football Kit, Retro Football Shirt Podcast, Alive and Kicking 90s Football Podcast; as well as the hundreds of social media posts from individuals such as Daniel Geey, Leon Mann, Vaishali Bhardwaj, Michael Calvin, Shannon Moloney and Chris Paouros to name just a few, each promoting the festival and their involvement.