Hijacking the news agenda

In such a fast-paced news environment, it goes without saying that you simply must adopt an ‘always on’ mentality, to make sure you don’t miss the next big opportunity. Sport doesn’t stop, so we don’t either. From a fitness standpoint, the industry has become increasingly competitive as technology takes over and everyone is looking for the next big thing.

That being said, we pride ourselves on monitoring the news agenda meticulously on a day to day basis. It starts from the off each morning with a thorough review of the day’s biggest headlines; if you can identify that news hook dominating the agenda, it can prove to be a lucrative exercise for your clients.

Having identified topics that could ask as a catalyst to place our clients in the media spotlight, we’ll immediately target media with relative expert commentary/interview opportunities on the topic.

Through this approach, we’ve delivered impactful content that delivers a clear return for our clients. Here are just a few examples of where we’ve done it before…


We began working with PureGym when they were a challenger brand with just 40 sites but in four years working together, they had over 150 sites and were the biggest gym operator in the UK.

PureGym was regularly featured in the trade press before working with us, but month on month we would deliver national coverage for them.

The proudest moment of the campaign though has to be when we got the PureGym brand next to Prince William.

It was announced in the media that the first-ever football match would take place at Buckingham Palace in 2013 between two of the oldest amateur league football clubs.

The PHA Group identified this as a unique sponsorship opportunity for PureGym to sponsor one of the teams.

With the media being given full access to the palace, we knew this game would get global coverage and we were proud to see pictures of the winning team standing next to Prince William appear in every UK national newspaper and in every other country around the world.


For many of our clients, January is the most important time in their marketing calendars. It is also a very competitive period, with all fitness providers competing to grab the attention of consumers looking to start the new year with a health kick.

This was especially relevant for our work with gym chain Xercise4Less. The challenge we faced was standing out from the crowd and making their offering the most attractive against other health club providers.

We utilised the fact that Xercise4Less was giving people a five-day free pass in January to position them as the most attractive gym to try.

We secured a live on-air plug by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis on ITV’s This Morning, as well as coverage in Daily Mail, Daily Express, COSMOPOLITAN and Liverpool Echo.


News agenda hijacking was also a key element of our activity for the GentingBet sportsbook. Ahead of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign start, the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was a massive talking point going into the season.

Last season saw a number of controversial decisions which would have been addressed if VAR was in use. To tap into all of the chatter around VAR, we reviewed the entire 2018/19 season and applied a VAR filter to see what could have happened if the system was in use.

The analysis suggested that Liverpool would have narrowly won the league, not Manchester City, and Cardiff City would have avoided relegation.

These provided big, media-worthy talking points which allowed us to create a genuine stir online. Resulting widespread coverage was secured with Sport Bible, Mail Online, Give Me Sport, Daily Express, Wales Online and TeamTalk.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we could hijack the news agenda for you, then get in touch with us today.

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