Smoking Gun Sports PR Case Study: Helping Save Our Pools with Sporting House

Smoking Gun Sports PR Case Study: Helping Save Our Pools with Sporting House

Sports PR Objectives

With the coronavirus pandemic impacting both private and public purse, in the run up to Local Authorities setting budgets for the coming year, concerns about funding for, and the future of, many UK public swimming baths was high, with 230 sites thought to be at risk.

Smoking Gun was drafted in to create an awareness campaign about potential mass closures and the negative effect of this on children learning to swim, on behalf of Sports PR client Sporting House.

The aims were threefold — starting conversations with beleaguered local leisure services, councillors and school managers to making it clear there is another way to run swimming facilities and pressure authorities to guarantee pools will reopen post-pandemic.

Sports PR Strategy & Approach

Smoking Gun PR launched a UK-wide campaign targeting national and top-tier regional media outlets with the messaging ‘swimming is drowning’ focused on what this could mean for the numbers of kids learning to swim each year.

Great Britain swimming champions Steve Parry and Adrian Turner fronted the campaign, with interviews offered to print and broadcast media.

The campaign’s famous personalities also appeared in core content for social media, with an emphasis on LinkedIn as the key platform for reaching swimming stakeholders.

An open letter to councillors and media was issued, pressing for campaign support.


The Save Our Pools campaign resulted in 133 print and online media hits, with nationals including Yahoo!, MailOnline and BT Sport.

10 broadcast segments including a spot on nation-wide television outlet Channel 5 News, and major local stations BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Leeds.

Sporting House was mentioned in 97% of the coverage.