Sports PR and social media campaign

 

The British Eagles is a UK-based fan organisation of one of the 32 NFL American Football teams, the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Run and updated by Eagles fans based this side of the Atlantic, its goal was to grow the fan base and help them feel as close as possible to the team they love.

It sought to introduce paid membership and wanted to use the Eagles’ trip to play a game in London as the centre of PR activity to position it as the number one UK-based Philadelphia sports brand. We were chosen as its sports PR agency.

Objectives and planning

The British Eagles campaign focused on earned, shared and owned media and had the following aims:

  • Introduce paid membership by identifying itself as the number one UK-based Philadelphia sports brand. There are two others to compete with
  • Launch a podcast – we believed a UK Eagles podcast would cut through the digital noise of blog posts and news articles
  • Increase followers and impressions and visitors to its website
  • Produce expert commentary and gain coverage in the Philadelphia media

We wanted to centre the fan base as the go-to brand for UK and international media and organisations. This included getting influential third parties to appear on a British Eagles podcast and taking a boots on the ground approach, positioning in London for the week of the game to identify and take advantage of unscheduled opportunities in real time.

Numbers and figures

Award shortlists

Increase in podcast plays

%

Increase in web visits

Selfie with the Super Bowl

Implementation

Podcasts and interviews

We understood that other than the official press conferences and the game itself, opportunities to build the brand would be reactive by what was happening in real time.

Our approach worked. We secured unscheduled outputs including:

  • Interviewed live on Philadelphia TV
  • Appeared on the Philadelphia Eagles podcast and video show
  • Gained behind-the-scenes access to the pep rally (no other media outlet was given such access)
  • Podcast interviews with
    • Eagles cheerleaders
    • An ex-player
    • Philadelphia reporters

In addition, a question we asked the head coach at a press conference was clipped off and used by the Eagles social media team. 

Historic activity to lay the foundations for this campaign

In February 2018, the Eagles reached the Super Bowl for the first time in 14 years. We provided a UK Eagles fan flying to the game with access to the Twitter account.

Coverage achieved included:

In addition, to boost engagement we built a section on the site for UK fans to submit pictures of them wearing Eagles merchandise.

Outcome

The British Eagles was able to launch paid membership in the best possible position.

Media relations

We secured key coverage including a mix of live and audio diary on: BBC Radio 5 Live, Metro, Eurosport, Philadelphia TV (Fox29), PhillySports.com and appeared on the Philadelphia Eagles podcast and on camera for their website and social media.

Podcast

We received 1,595 plays of the podcast between 1 October and 30 November vs 513 between 12 April and 29 September.

Twitter

British Eagles’ Twitter followers increased to 1,302 (target was 1,000). It’s engagement also excelled its target of 80k, pulling in 168k tweet impressions and receiving 905 mentions in October vs 143 in September.

Website (Oct 7 to Nov 7 vs 5 Sept to 6 Oct)

Its website received 708 visits, an increase of 413% from 47 visits and time spent on the page increased by 32%, a total of 1min 19.

Activity that grabbed attention and set us apart

  • Only brand given behind-the-scenes access at pep rallies
  • Selfie with Eagles legend Brent Celek and the Super Bowl trophy
  • Media credentials: allowed us to interview players and coaches at a media/practice day and post-game in the locker room
  • The Philadelphia Eagles clipped off a question we asked in the press conference and used it in isolation on their channels
  • A Philadelphia reporter referred to our Eagles fan on the ground on her Instagram account as ‘the biggest Eagles fan in Europe’

Key partnerships

We also forged relationships to strengthen the British Eagles’ media position at future events. Partnerships include:

  • The Philadelphia Eagles gave us an exclusive in the run up to the London game, discussing their micro-site launched for the UK trip
  • NFLUK grants us access to interview key NFL personnel. This shows that as a ‘fan’ group, we are trusted alongside the traditional media.

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