Health & Fitness PR: Sporting House
Health & Fitness PR: Objectives
Children’s activity organisation Sporting House was launching two new sport and leisure facilities in the North West for its sub-brands, swim! and Beth Tweddle Gymnastics got in touch with Smoking Gun PR for specialist health & fitness PR support.
Former Olympic swimmer Steve Parry launched a new swim! centre for young children in Oldham, while former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle launched a state-of-the-art gymnastics centre in Bolton.
Both centres launched to provide lessons tailored to babies and young children in both swimming and gymnastics respectively, with courses and programmes specially designed by Steve and Beth.
As experts in the health & fitness PR industry, Smoking Gun worked with Sporting House on a dual-campaign to launch both sites, with the objective to drive regional media coverage and class sign ups in the local community, as well as positioning both as the ‘go-to’ places for lessons in the North West.
Health & Fitness PR: Strategy and Plan
We adopted a three-step ‘whisper, murmur, shout’ approach to both launches, teasing regional media, as well as local mummy bloggers, with news of the centres, increasing the awareness as the official launches grew closer.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, our campaign was put on hold as swimming pools and leisure centres across the UK were forced to close.
We pivoted the strategy to re-engage with our audience post-lockdown to encourage parents to continue to keep children active after a period of being indoors, while capitalising on the media agenda and positioning Steve and Beth as relevant spokespeople as the leisure industry reopened its doors to the public.
Creative health & fitness PR stunts and media launch events were put on hold. Instead we:
- Sent branded inflatable swimming rings and gymnastics gear out to key journalists with launch press releases to capture attention
- Researched local bloggers and influencers and offered them taster sessions and lessons
- Pitched Steve Parry and Beth Tweddle for media interviews surrounding the centre launches and the benefit of swimming and gymnastics for children
Results and impact
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our health & fitness PR campaign delivered:
- 23 pieces of media coverage across national and regional print, online and broadcast titles including the Manchester Evening News, BBC Radio Manchester, MSN, Oldham Times and Bolton FM
- Attendance of ITV Granada Reports, which came to film a segment at the swim! Centre
- Coverage from local bloggers about their child’s lessons
- More than 700 class sign ups
- 100% of coverage included a booking call to action