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Are you after something different for your next holiday? By different, we aren’t talking about inter-railing or cruising from port to port whilst sipping an ice-cold Margarita, we’re talking about a holiday dedicated to exercise, sport and adventure.

For some lying on a beach for a week isn’t what a holiday is about. So what better way to enjoy your time off than having a bespoke holiday where you eat well and exercise hard.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with the traditional big-name travel agents are a few bespoke businesses who specialise in booking you exactly what you want from a fitness holiday. So, whether it’s swimming every day or instructor lead CrossFit classes these businesses will organise it for you.

SwimTrek

The concept of SwimTrek has been around for almost 20 years. It all began when founder, Simon Murie decided for his 30th birthday he wanted to complete Hellespont, a sea crossing situated in North-West Turkey which divides Europe and Asia.

The crossing came with a lot of challenges, least of it being the swim which only took an hour to complete! But the week previous, had been spent trying to gain the correct permissions from the council, army and coastguard, whilst also trying to find a pilot who would agree to escort him across. The total imbalance is where the idea of SwimTrek was born.

Fast forward to present time and SwimTrek offers both long and short swim package holidays to the most exotic places in the world including The Maldives, Seychelles and even the Galapagos Islands. Their experience in the industry is undeniable and if you’re eyeing up a summer swimming holiday experience, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than SwimTrek.

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Did you catch the latest winner of our guest photo of the month competition? Here's a shot from Fran enjoying Montenegro. If you'd like to submit a photo to our competition, please tag us in it or send to marketing@swimtrek.com https://buff.ly/2V4nJVl #swimtrek #swimexplorediscover #montenegro #potm #photoofthemonth #swimming #underwater #happy #swimmingholiday #openwater #swimmingvacation

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Neilson

With over 40 years’ experience, Neilson are the experts in organising beachclub, sailing and ski holidays across the Mediterranean and some of the best mountain resorts Europe has to offer.

Book yourself onto a Flotilla holiday with other like-minded sailors, where you can expect to start every day looking forward to a new destination, whilst the Neilson crew take care of everything.

Neilson also offers sailing courses ranging from total beginner to experienced sailors with the opportunity of taking the ICC assessment (International Certificate of Competence) at the end of the course, allowing you to sail in European waters think of it as your new snazzier driving license.

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Excitement is in the air, as three more of our beachclubs open for Summer '19 this weekend! ☀ ⠀ Retreat Beachclub, Sivota, Greece Alana Beachclub, Paklenica, Croatia Portomyrina Palace Beachclub, Lemnos, Greece ⠀ #relaxashardasyoulike #neilson #neilsonholidays #greece #croatia #instatravel #travel #activeholidays #feelgoodholidays

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Tenerife Top Training

With world-class facilities such as the innovative swimming Flume, volleyball courts and athletics track open to both professional and recreational athletes, Tenerife Top Training has established itself as one of the leading training centres in Europe. A training mecca which has gained international praise from both the French and Italian swimming national federations.

So whether your your preferred sport is cycling, rugby or even football book yourself onto a training camp where you can expect to see not only your physical fitness improve but also your technical ability skyrocket.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxrKGhmFoaZ/

Destination Yoga

Whatever your level of yoga might be, Destination Yoga are on hand to help you create your perfect retreat in just a matter of clicks. Find yourself travelling to Sarinia or Puglia for a group or tailor-made holiday.

A big part of a yoga holiday is the teacher who takes it, Destination Yoga have placed great importance on this part by creating a detailed portfolio on each teacher and adding suggestions on who would be best suited to their styles whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate.

With rave reviews from the likes of The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph and a plethora of great testimonials to boot, if yoga is your preferred exercise then Destination Yoga should be your first port of call for a holiday.

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We’re excited to return for 2 more group retreats at Galanis, Sardinia this summer. Join Mira Khreino or Laura Gilmore and let them lead you through the sessions in the hotel’s pretty garden shala. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #destinationyoga #yogaretreats #yogsretreats2019 #yogaforall ⠀ #yogateachers #yogateacherslife #yogaholiday #yogaholidays #yogaabroad #yogaretreatsabroad #groupyogaholidays #groupholidays #yogaoutside #vinyasyoga #yogainsarindia

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Mountain Kingdoms

From trekking and cycling holidays to walking safaris, Mountain Kingdoms are your first stop for adventure holidays.

Their range of walking safari holidays delivers a unique insight on the African bush as well as delivering opportunities for close-up encounters with amazing wildlife.

Imagine tracking the Big Five on a guided jeep safari within the Southern Kruger National Park. Other incredible experiences include a 16-day Antarctica classic cruise and an 18-day cultural cycling tour of Bhutan on the Himalayas eastern edge.

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Vote in our client Photo of the Year Competition for the chance to win a subscription to @trailmagazine, the UK’s best-selling hillwalking magazine! Today’s featured finalist is Mr Tyrrell who captured this fantastic image on the cool waters of Antarctica. #mountainkingdoms #adventure #travelphotography #instatravel #adventuretravel #adventureholiday #travelgram

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Could your businesses do with a PR boost? Why not get in touch with our award-winning team today to find out how we could help.

Sun, Sea & Sporting holidays

Along with the occasional Pimms and BBQ, summer often brings a flurry of cyclists to our roads all keen to take advantage of the British weather for a few months before it disappears.

Expect to see a plethora of road cycling events taking place over the coming weekends, and this one is no different, with the Flat 100 in South Yorkshire. Described as possibly as the flattest sportive in the country, specifically for participants who’d rather not climb a hill for a change.

But before signing up to take part in an event, you need to make sure you look the part, so we’ve looked into some of our favourite cycling apparel brands that you should check out.

Force GB

For over 30 years, Force GB has been one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of performance sportswear. Based in West Yorkshire, all their products are made in the UK under one roof. If you are entering an event with a group of friends or work colleagues, be sure to check them out, as they specialise in creating bespoke designs with no limit to colours or logos. From jerseys to gilets, Force GB can turn your dream design into a reality.

https://twitter.com/Force_GB/status/1087376317409124358

Hackney GT

The alternative cycling apparel brand has come a long way since being a one-man show in 2011. The idea born from cycling ‘nut’ Russ Jones, who had a one-off jersey design made for his music production company. After that, it was clear to Russ what needed to happen next. Their aim is to provide a style for whatever kind of cycling you do. If you do head over to their site you’re sure to be impressed with some of their ‘edgy’ designs which wouldn’t look out of place walking around Hackney.

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Hackney GT clearance sale continues with further reductions. All women's jerseys now reduced from £85 to as low as £30 . Limited sizes , so get in quick. Shipping world wide #hackneygt #madeinengland

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Impsport

Based in the East Midlands or Lincoln to be precise, Impsport established in the ’70s, produce customised cycling, triathlon and athletics performance apparel for the recreational athlete to the elite competing at the peak of world competitions.

With no minimum order quantity on up to 90% of their products, if you need just a single gilet or jersey quickly, Impsport could be your answer. Likewise, if you need to place an order for a large party, Impsport has a motto that is ‘the more you order, the more you save’.

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Well done to @mcgarvieharry rocking his club colours @ayrburners and coming first overall and repping the #impsport brand #repost • • • • • Yesterday was the final round of the SCX series at Knockburn Loch. It’s a brilliant course featuring some brutal climbs and technical descents which was characterised by the insane headwind straights. I’ve struggled at this course in previous seasons because of the fast straights, so it was a great feeling to be able to keep up on them and even gain some time there – mainly thanks to the help from @espresso_cycle_coaching I had a great race, managing to stay near the front for the first lap before settling into a little group racing for second. Managed to get a small 10 second gap on the second last lap and hold it to the finish line, getting second place. It was a great feeling to finally get a proper result here after some pretty bad ones.

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Velobici

Interestingly the brand name Velobici comes from ‘Velo’, which translate as bike in French and ‘bici’ as bike in Italian. The core rule for founder, Chris Puttnam was that everything was to be produced in England.

To this day after nine years of the brand being established the fabrics are still knitted in Nottinghamshire and manufactured in Leicestershire.

Chris’ desire has always been to stay away from eccentric cycle wear and to design and produce classically understated garments. Make sure to check out the Van-Abel collection which is suitable for all seasons.

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Rapha

Probably the most known brand on this list, but still a great source of high-quality equipment and clothing. This year sees Rapha celebrate 15 years of being established, initially the aim of Rapha was to help promote cycling, now after progression Rapha are striving to see the sport become the most popular sport in the world.

Rapha stock three collections including ‘Classic, Brevet & Core’, the Classics are Rapha’s most iconic pieces, made from luxury performance fabrics and with rider-inspired details.

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A monster awakens. Between the crashes and the climbing, World Tour debutant Sergio Higuita sprinted from the pack to rescue EF Education First’s #AmgenTOC. Go behind-the-scenes to meet the Colombian poised to tear up proceedings. Tune in and subscribe on Rapha’s YouTube channel.

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A bespoke PR strategy handcrafted by award-winning professionals could deliver success to your business, why not speak to us today for a no obligation chat to find out how we can work with you.

Cycling apparel brands ready to inspire

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.

 

Interested in hearing how we might be able to help you promote your wearable tech product? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out more.

A smart mouthguard to measure head impact data 

The wellness and fitness festival of the year is back and taking place 10-12 May at The Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch. Each year hundreds of businesses who aid in making our lives that little bit better exhibit to showcase the latest products, trends, workouts, diets and services we can use to help us along our wellness and fitness journey.

If you’re anything like us you will take the chance to sample delicious foods, learn from the best wellness gurus in the business, try out a class with fellow yogis, heighten your emotional intelligence and discover what really works for you.

We take a look at the brands we can’t wait to see at this year’s Balance Festival.

HoMedics

Founded in 1987 by entrepreneurs Ron Ferber and Slon Kaufman, HoMedics is mostly known for their top of the range massage products, which allow people to unwind and de-stress in the comfort of their own home. Their massage products have been designed in a bespoke way which permits for the ultimate relaxation experience. Products range from foot and neck massagers to handheld massagers which can be used on your travels. They continue to be a leading innovator in massage technology.

Get a drip

Feeling run down? Had a heavy weekend? Or do you simply feel you need to give your body the boost it craves? Well look no further than Get a drip. Born after founder Richard Chambers (a type1 diabetic) was admitted to intensive care while suffering from Ketoacidosis. Richard soon realised how great it felt to feel fully hydrated. Used as part of a healthy lifestyle and not a substitute for exercise or a balanced diet the process is simple. Drop into one of their many locations around London, have an assessment by one of their healthcare professionals who will then help you choose the IV Drip or Booster Shot therapy that is right for you.

LEAP

Fully equipped with industry experts who are at hand to help you with your wellness needs, be it a workout plan, week-long yoga or fitness retreat or an empowerment coaching session in your place of work Leap are on hand to help. Priding themselves as a sustainable wellness solution LEAP offer a multi-service approach to your wellness needs. As the business has evolved over the last 10 years, LEAP also delved into servicing residential buildings and shared working spaces across the city, providing their residents and members with yoga, personal training, sports massage, nutrition workshops and more. You will be in safe hands with the LEAP team at Balance Festival.

TOTM

What makes a period powerful company? One whose mission is to change the mindset and attitudes towards periods and menstrual health. Passionate about growing a community of period pioneers TOTM want to break the taboo around periods modernising how we talk about menstrual health. In addition, TOTM sell 100% cruelty-free, organic, biodegradable tampons, pads and liners. They might be a small team in Wales but they’re a powerful one with a forward-thinking blog the ‘period powerful hub’ to help provide guidance, support and advice articles for women far and wide. There are also some brilliant take homes for clean/green living tips. Head on over and become part of the conversation with their #switchstories.

Zendium

You take great care of your body now it is time to take great care of your mouth. Our mouths are a natural home to up to 100 billion bacteria. In fact, it is one of the most colonised parts of your body. Many think bacteria is bad but in truth good bacteria naturally protect your mouth and keep you healthy. Zendium is clinically proven to boost good bacteria in the mouth in just 14 weeks. So if you’re looking for a way to rejuvenate your good bacteria and oral health be sure to check out Zendium at this years festival.

If you like the sound of our choices and want to talk about taking your PR outreach to the next level, contact us today.

Five businesses to watch at Balance Festival

Whether you’re the newest sport-tech start-up, ready to disrupt the market; or an institution as old as England Rugby, if you’re part of the Sport and Leisure world, you’re at Elevate – the UK’s largest physical activity trade show.

This year, we’ve picked five of our favourite company’s exhibiting. All of which focus on offering top-quality ‘services’ for their customers.

Wellness plays an integral part in our day-to-day lives, especially for those who live through the hustle and bustle of city life. But sadly many who fall within this category, struggle to find the time to make our way across the city in time for appointments. Especially during the dreaded rush hour. On the other side of this, wellness professionals often do not reap the rewards they sow, with many only taking an average of 20% of what we pay them.

Urban

The UK’s largest wellness marketplace, are tackling both these issues. Urban gives city folks the opportunity to book wellness treatments; such as massages, osteopathy, and beauty services, all of which are ready to come straight to your front door, all it takes is a click of an app. Whilst also ensuring their self-employed professionals walk home with 80% of the cost of treatment and 100% of the tips.

Hussle

You’ve had a long day at work, and the thought of having to commute halfway across town to go to the gym isn’t helping to boost your mood. Well, thanks to Hussle, this feeling could soon be a thing of the past.

With various memberships and discounts on offer, you can have flexible access to over 2,800 gyms across the country. So whether you’re coming from work, or leaving a meeting on the other side of the City, Hussle will have a location near you.

GoSweat

Most people have their favourite gym or their preferred gym brand, but how many of us really use it to its full potential? The team at GoSweat decided to create a new, more millennial alternative to the outdated corporate gym discounts.

GoSweat offers employees rewards for staying active, across thousands of different weekly activities – allowing employees to be ‘active whenever, wherever and however they like’. Whether it’s Pilates, lightbox yoga or Jivamukti, there will always be something that you’ll love.

Deuce

Many people assume that tennis isn’t for everyone, especially when most don’t know who to talk to when they want to book a court. Enter Deuce who have created a portal which gives instant access to thousands of tennis courts across the UK.

Not only does Deuce give access to courts nearby, they want to drive change in tennis and help to make it inclusive to more. Deuce also offers the opportunity to improve your skills at their Deuce partner clubs, so no matter whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro. So, it’s no surprise that two-time Wimbledon champ Sir Andy Murray has teamed up with them.

If you like our picks and want to know more about how PHA can help your brand, speak to our award-winning team today to find out how we could help.

Spotlight on…Elevate Expo

Yoga isn’t just an exercise class it’s a form of life for people all around the globe. It releases stress from the body, it helps you find clarity through the power of meditation and eliminates tension with self-healing techniques. But before committing to practising yoga, it is important to know you have the correct gear. We’ve looked at the yoga brands we believe are the ones to watch in 2019.

Dharma Bums

Since its inception in 2013, Australian based yoga brand Dharma Bums has been well received in the yoga community. Taking only 18 months for the business to turn over $4 million in revenue. Fast forward to 2019 and Dharma Bum’s rise shows no signs of faltering, after cracking the UK market and becoming one of the go-to yoga brands.

The concept of Dharma Bums initially came from founder Debbie Lawson, who at the time believed that practices used to manufacture yoga and activewear clothing didn’t align with her own values. Debbie felt inspired to do better.

The ethical brand lives by 11 core principles of the code of conduct which includes not discriminating, decent working hours and fair wages.

Asquith

Established in 2002, meet the original athleisure. Asquith using eco fabrics such as bamboo which is a sustainable and environmentally low-impact fabric. It’s also ideal for activewear due to it being naturally anti-bacterial and breathable.

The Asquith designs enhance yoga and Pilates practice but are also perfect for everyday use. Asquith clothes are manufactured in a wonderful family-run factory in southern Turkey, like Dharma Bums, Asquith are committed to making sure employees enjoy a 9-5 day and paid holidays.

Gossypium

Since 2011 Gossypium have been creating yoga and activewear made from sustainable fabrics that allow customers to feel good inside and out. All their products are made to order and are manufactured in their workshop located on the edge of the South Downs National Park in East Sussex by their small team of dedicated craftspeople.

Working in association with yoga teachers and fitness instructors, each garment is designed to allow a natural fit and move with your body.

Yogamasti

Lead by Yoga enthusiast and dancer, Aanika Chopra, Yogamasti is now a global brand and has been featured at 20 shows around the world. Not only is the clothing comfy it’s also hand painted for a unique style. Aanika herself has committed to a life of yoga having mastered Hatha Relax and Hatha Power, she has also successfully incorporated both dance and yoga into her practices in an exciting form called Yogic Dance.

From eco mats to meditation scarves to gift vouchers for your friends and family, Yogamasti has it all, if you’re into yoga this is the brand for you.

M-Life London

There’s an interesting story behind the inception of M-Life involving the founder, Leonie Ellyatt. Leonie’s grandmother taught her to dream and how to be individual, it is because of her grandmother, Rana, that she created M-Life formerly known as Manuka Life. Leonie dedicated M-Life London to her grandmother. Rana believed in women with real needs, something Leonie wants to preserve.

Passionate about creating lifestyle-inspired, high-quality apparel and accessories to support individuals on their spiritual and physical well-being journey. Perfectly suited for both yoga and Pilates

M-Life aims to create sustainable and non-toxic products including eco-friendly yoga and Pilates accessories, such as fitness balls and body bands. As a business they are 6P free, which is a hazardous chemical called phthalates (a group of chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic).

At PHA we work with a host of sport and fitness apparel brands. Our award-winning team has extensive experience launching products to market, or simply raising the profile of a long-standing innovative brand in the UK media. Speak to our team today to find out how we could help you achieve your goals long term.

Namaste to your favourite yoga brands

Rugby. When major events such as the World Cup, Six Nations or the British and Irish Lions are touring the subcontinent, rugby mania sweeps the nation. Providing a perfect opportunity for brands to implement short, sharp successful marketing campaigns.

We’ve scrolled through the archives and listed our five favourite campaigns showcasing creativity, results and well they just made us giggle!

Guinness Clear

Over the years Guinness has become synonymous with rugby. So much so that during the last Rugby World Cup, Guinness’ sales grew by 4% despite Heineken being the official beer.

On the eve of this year’s Six Nations Guinness decided to reveal a new beverage, Guinness Clear. In reality, Guinness Clear is just water and marks the cornerstone of a responsible drinking campaign. Guinness filmed a tasting session with rugby legends Lawrence Dallaglio and Brian O’Driscoll – released as an advert – and even held a launch event for press, hosted by the two former players.

The hashtag #GuinnessClear was created to drive consumer engagement and Guinness has been rolling out several fan activations at Six Nations matches, including the Guinness Hydration Station.

We will have to wait till after the Guinness Six Nations has concluded to see if the campaign was deemed a success, but the immediate reaction suggests it has been a positive one.

02 #WearTheRose

When England hosted the World Cup in 2015, England’s main sponsor, O2, had the perfect platform to execute a well thought out campaign. It began with the strap-line ‘#WearTheRose’ being unveiled on the roof of the O2 arena.

More was to follow, as O2 went on to produce a stunning amination video, which gained 2.6m views on YouTube alone.

O2 declared it as the most successful digital campaign it had ever run, and according to Twitter, O2 had 67% share of voice for the whole tournament due to the #WearTheRose hashtag. It’s just a shame that England went out in the group stages of the tournament, but that’s for another day…

Samsung ‘School of Rugby’

Samsung’s aim was to create a series of one-minute comedy clips, to help demystify and enhance people’s enjoyment of the sport, using comedian Jack Whitehall as the lynchpin. Whitehall learnt about the core elements of the game whilst making some quips and gags at former England players. The miniseries amassed over two million views on YouTube.

Hakarena

The clothing brand Jacamo didn’t have millions to spend to promote their brand to a global audience. In 2015, Jacamo had no affiliation to the World Cup but this didn’t stop them from hijacking the news agenda and creating the ‘Hakarena’. The results were staggering, in just five days it generated a combined 2.3m video views and was shown on BBC, ITV, Fox and CNN. The press coverage reached almost 40 million people and it trended in not only the UK, but Australia and New Zealand too.

Guinness Rugby – Gareth’s Story

Guinness as a brand is synonymous with rugby, so when Heineken won the rights to be the only beer supplier during the World Cup, Guinness had to get creative.

Guinness hedged their bets that competitor brands would focus on physical challenges in their campaigns in the build-up to the World Cup, so Guinness instead decided to focus on the mental and social challenges. The campaign focused on Welsh captain Gareth Thomas and his struggle to go public with his sexuality. Thomas became the world’s first openly gay rugby player.

The results were unbelievable, 23 million people tuned in to watch the TV advert which aired between England vs Wales. Arguably the comments below on YouTube were the biggest success.

If you’re looking to create a knockout campaign, speak to a member of our award-winning public relations team today.

Five rugby campaigns that knocked our socks off

In the sport and fitness world, there are so many apparel brands you can choose from it can be difficult to distinguish which product or latest gadget is the best for you. Knowing what brands to trust and buy from can be a tricky procedure, the fitness market has become heavily saturated with brands vying for the top spot. With some focusing on ‘fast fashion’ flooding the market with cheaper alternatives, how is the consumer supposed to know who to buy from and what is truly the best product on the market?

We’ve created some fitness categories and chosen some of our top brands who fill that criteria to make the selection process easier.

Running Shoes

Brooks Running

Known for their consistency in manufacturing high-performance running shoes, clothing and accessories for both men and women. Back in 2011, Brooks reached the number one selling brand in the bespoke running shoe category where they held 25% of the market share.

Away from their high-performance apparel, Brooks are also known for their ability to find a trainer which is as unique as your running style. Simply answer a series of questions on their Brooks’ Shoe Finder on their website and the system will deliver the perfect pair of trainers for you.

Brooks also offers a 90-day trial ‘run’ where you can put their gear through its paces and sweat in as much as you like, and if you’re not 100% satisfied, you can return it for free!

Mountaineering

OMM

The Original Mountain Marathon or ‘OMM’ as it’s known is the rebranded version of The Karrimor, which entails a two-day mountain event held in a different region across the UK every year. This year it’s being held in coastal Scotland in late October.

Apart from organising extreme mountaineering marathon events around the globe, OMM also create bespoke clothing apparel, sleeping systems and a large array of packs.

Fitness and leisurewear

Iffley Road

Offering men’s sportswear not only for running but also for fitness and living too. Iffley Road have taken the unique approach of combining sport, performance and style and made it into one of the top premium British clothing brands around.

Iffley Road was born and given its name due to co-founders Claire Kent and Bill Byrne being so inspired by Roger Bannister’s feat in 1954 of running the first sub-four-minute mile.

 Functional Sportswear

Odlo

Founded in Oslo, Norway in 1946, Odlo has become the market leader and pioneer in functional sportswear, offering a range of attire for all sports ranging from hiking and running to even cross-country skiing if you fancy trying something new this year!

Their extensive range of zero-weight products on offer should be of interest for athletes who require something that will protect against the wind and weather whilst also remaining well ventilated and highly breathable.

Endurance apparel

Montane

Meet the brand who push the limits of mountain clothing, their focus has always been on creating lightweight, innovative and breathable clothing so when you’re exerting yourself in extreme environments you remain comfortable.

From heat-trapping fleeces to an endurance jacket with a fully adjustable roll-away climbing hood, Montane is the brand to check out before your next outdoor adventure begins!

For the past 25 years, Montane have been working closely with professional mountain climbers who work in tough conditions all around the globe to test out and perfect their products, making sure to put the consumer at the heart of everything they do.

Montane was born in 1993 after founding directors Chris Roff and Jake Doxat met on a 3-month expedition to southern Chile in 1989, ever since its inception the brand has gone from strength to strength with award-winning clothing ranges such as the Prism.

At PHA we work with a host of sport and fitness apparel brands. Our award-winning team has extensive experience launching products to market or simply raising the profile of a long-standing innovative brand in the UK media. Speak to our team today to find out how we could help you achieve your goals long term.

Fitness brands to watch out for

Last week saw the biggest gaming industry event dedicated to solutions, content and networking with some of the largest names in the business descend on London – ICE London. We take a look at the companies that are leading the way in both the online and offline gaming sectors.

Fantasy sports interactive

Fantasy sports interactive or FSI is the award-winning, fantasy sports betting software company. This innovative business not only offers a range of fantasy sport gaming options but is also the first company to launch fantasy better in Europe through their own platform.

Their rich insights into fantasy sports betting and skill gaming offer a tailored white-label solution to iGaming operators and businesses seeking a modern and effective way to gain new customers. If you need to create an engaging, competitive and full licensed iGaming product, FSI is the business to get in touch with.

Perform Group

Perform Group is a leading digital sports content and media group, who strive to connect the world through sport by producing the most detailed and engaging content around. With consistent advances in technology, and changes in the way fans consume content, Perform want to lead the charge and elevate the users experience.

It’s also worth mentioning the great charity work that Perform have done in the past.  Working with Plan International, the project focuses on lifting children out of poverty and advancing gender equality through the power of sport.

During their time in India, Perform managed to reach 12,895 children either through sports, life skills and awareness sessions. We can’t wait to read about all the great work they achieve in their upcoming CSR project in Brazil!

Super Spade Games

Super Spade Games offers a classy and flexible live dealer format for gaming operators from all around the globe and provide a service for white label providers too.

By delivering a unique and extraordinary gaming experience to players across a host of live dealer games. Innovation is at the heart of everything that Super Spade Games does. With their friendly interface and fast development work, watch out for Super Spade Games throughout 2019.

Betgenius

 Crowned sports betting supplier of the year in 2018 and one of the leading providers of sophisticated software to the regulated sports betting sector. Betgenius provide robust and unique technology that aids both international bookmakers and lottery operators the ability to increase performance across both trading and marketing.

Founded in 2000, Betgenius has risen to the top and are proud to supply not only the world’s biggest sportsbooks, but also own the fastest and most accurate live data around.

Storm Gaming Technology

For the fifth year running, Storm GT exhibited at this years’ ICE London event. The UK’s most progressive, independent gaming company has been creating gaming software and platforms, specifically for the pub, bar, club and arcade sectors across both domestic and international markets for the past decade.

With over 5,000 kiosks installed in over 12 countries, Storm GT specialises in game development, kiosk manufacturing, graphics and 3D modelling. Their philosophy is based around building and nurturing relationships that evolve into fully fledged partnerships that lead to the possibility of relevant opportunities.

Are you looking to establish your reputation within the gambling industry? Are you looking to break-through to a new organisation or audience? Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out how we can work with you to deliver a bespoke communications strategy.

Spotlight on ICE London

It sometimes feels like cricket has spent more time ‘dying’ than being played over the last decade, and that state of perpetual existential crisis is only intensifying as the ECB’s new The Hundred competition looms ever larger.

The cricketing public may be anticipating this brave new world with all the enthusiasm of a medium pacer about to trundle in to bowl at Jos Buttler, but what does it mean for the 18 first-class counties?

The Hundred presents both a challenge and an opportunity. A challenge because the advent of franchise cricket will threaten the identity of clubs whose heritage has been woven into the fabric of the game for 130 years. An opportunity because the new competition does not begin until 2020, which gives them one final season to market themselves as bands in their own right to audiences old and new.

The death of country cricket has been much exaggerated. The 2018 Vitality Blast competition drew record aggregate attendance figures in excess of 950,000, compared to 883,000 in 2017, which was a 7% increase on the previous record set in 2015. Run rate at the league stage of this year’s Blast was 8.88 runs per over, the highest of any T20 league globally. The Blast is an exciting product, and counties are showing that an audience can be attracted to watch domestic cricket. The 2019 Blast should be the first to break the one-million barrier in ticket sales.

Ironically, the increasing popularity of the Blast has come in spite of a shoestring marketing budget that has prevented it from competing with the Big Bash and IPL. Attracting more spectators is the key to the long-term survival and financial viability of the domestic game. The ECB has decided it must attract a completely new audience by devising a new cricketing format yet the evidence shows that counties can find a willing audience for T20 if they get the formula right.

The coming year will be crucial for counties. If they promote their T20 offering, through cleverly targeted marketing and PR campaigns, they can attract new fans even if they lack the resources of the ECB’s £41m Hundred.

Cricket’s absence from free-to-air television means that counties need to be creative. Targeted media engagement, community campaigns, and innovative deployment of players are all ways that cricket can target specific sectors to drive interest.

Counties should build on the momentum built by the growth of women’s cricket. Of the 26,000 tickets sold for the Women’s World Cup Final, around 50% were bought by women, and thousands of women across the country took up the sport in the aftermath of the tournament. Counties with a women’s team have a great PR asset, but how many are getting the most out of it?

The Big Bash identified that the gateway to attracting a family audience is interesting mothers in the game. By targeting family sites, women’s titles and mummy bloggers, it’s possible to spread a message quickly through word of mouth and attract larger family audiences. Cricket is a wonderful alternative day out, but somebody needs to be making the case for it to those audiences, rather than getting stuck in a cricketing echo chamber.

That is where counties need to get smart. It is not fair to expect an in-house Press Office, whose bread and butter is dealing with cricket journalists, to devise and execute a strategy to reach mummy bloggers. Or to deliver a coordinated PR campaign to target students, persuading them that a day at their local cricket ground makes a perfect post-exam celebration. Or to think how local businesses can be reached through the media, turning T20 into a corporate team bonding opportunity.

The ECB has decided it needs to find a new audience for cricket and a new way of thinking about the sport. But long-suffering cricket fans should not be taken for granted or ignored. Counties that can find a way to reaffirm their identity can attract new members. Each county has its own ‘brand’: The Oval’s party atmosphere, the sanctity of Lords, the carnival Finals Day feeling at Edgbaston or the charm of Hove and the County Ground. Counties don’t need to be franchises to build a recognisable identity that can appeal to supporters.

Engaging BAME communities more effectively, particularly South Asian communities, is perhaps the greatest challenge that is yet to be solved. Almost 40% of recreational cricket in the UK is played by South Asians, but only 4% make it as professionals at county level. The ECB have launched a South Asian Action Plan, but with more British Asian players coming to prominence, counties could do more to launch community projects to engage these audiences.

Surrey batsman Arun Harinath has family roots in Sri Lanka, and as well as working for the PCA, and writing for Wisden, he has recently launched a cricket podcast, The 12th Men. He has an interesting perspective, which is worth considering:

‘There is a definite disconnect between South Asian communities and professional cricket in the UK. A hearts and minds campaign is needed to change perceptions. There is plenty of cricket played in Asian leagues here in the UK, but many clubs feel ignored by counties, while young cricketers do not feel that there is a pathway to making it professionally.

 ‘Cricket needs to establish itself as the essential summer sport by re-engaging with BAME communities and by reconnecting players with fans. Cricketers aren’t visible enough in the UK, but if we can give them a greater profile, and give youngsters role models to look up to then there is a big opportunity for counties to bridge that disconnect and find a home for those communities. Different audiences need different messages, and hopefully counties are starting to realise that.’

 By seizing the narrative over the coming season, counties can consolidate their brand, reassure members, and entice new audiences into their grounds. Cricket is becoming more innovative on the field with every passing season. If counties can replicate that same innovation off the field in the way they sell their brand to potential audiences they can make 2019 their PR Moment.

 How counties can use 2019 as a PR launchpad