Written by Holly Hale • Published 13th May 2019 • 2 minute read

On Saturday 27th April at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Ospreys and Cardiff Blues players took to the field wearing OPRO+ mouthguards during their Judgement Day match. This marked the official launch of the revolutionary new mouthguards that measure head impact data in real time.

OPRO are the leading providers of innovative and technically advanced mouthguards across the globe, with long-standing partnerships in place with hundreds of clubs, organisations and associations including England Rugby, New Zealand Rugby, Australia Rugby, Ultimate Fighting Championship, England and GB Hockey, GB Taekwondo and USA Taekwondo to name a few.

The PHA Group has worked with OPRO for the last two years and with a month to go until the launch of OPRO+, we were tasked with putting together a communication strategy that would ensure the news of the new mouthguards made headlines and would not be diluted by match reports in the lead up to Judgement Day, one of the biggest weekends for Rugby Union each year.

To create OPRO+ mouthguards, OPRO partnered with Swansea based Sports & Wellbeing Analytics (SWA) who developed the cutting-edge technology built into each mouthguard known as the PROTECHT system. OPRO+ mouthguards containing the PROTECHT chips record the head impact data of each player and send it in real time to a laptop on the sidelines which can be seen by coaches and medical staff. Along with objective surveillance, this helps to give a clear picture of precisely what impacts a player has been subjected to.

Until now, there has been no objective way to monitor all head impacts, to measure the force of impact and the rotation of the head as a result of the impact. OPRO+ addresses this issue.

Using our extensive list of sport and fitness contacts across the media landscape we lined up interview opportunities for OPRO founder, Dr Anthony Lovat, allowing him to lead the conversation and positioning him as the innovator behind OPRO+.

We planned and successfully executed a media morning held at the Ospreys training ground in LLandarcy, Wales, where broadcast media were given samples of the OPRO+ mouthguards and then given the opportunity to film the mouthguards and technology in action. Media were able to interview Ospreys players, coaches and the CEO of SWA about how the technology works and the potential for improving player welfare for news packages ahead of the Judgement Day match.

In total, we achieved 25 pieces of coverage (broadcast, print, online) around the launch of OPRO+ on/in titles including ESPN, Sky Sports News, BBC Sport Wales, BBC Wales, S4C, The Times online, Mail Online, The Daily Telegraph, Telegraph online, Irish Mirror, BBC Three Counties Radio, Belfast Telegraph and the South Wales Echo.

 

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