How to promote your sporting event in a post-COVID time

The sporting event industry has been hit incredibly hard during the pandemic. Cancelled events and the loss of funding/fundraising has had a massive impact on the sector. There is, however, reason for optimism with restrictions now lifted and better times are ahead for the events industry. So, how do you stand out and promote your event now that life is getting back to normality?

At The PHA Group, we specialise in amplifying sporting events through expert, targeted PR support that is guaranteed to get media cut through. We have a varied and exciting back catalogue of work in this space, which includes helping Bellator MMA grow in the UK, successfully launching the endurance event Tough Mudder to the UK, and last year working closely with Threshold Sports to promote their Trail Series.

As part of our brief to promote last summer’s Trail Series events and showcase that ultras are accessible for all levels of fitness whilst battling the underlying backdrop of COVID-19, this meant we had to communicate that consumer confidence in mass participation sporting events had returned.

Our results from this campaign saw us deliver just shy of 40 pieces of coverage, including standout pieces in Sky News, BBC Look North, SportBusiness and Trail Running Magazine. To achieve this, we employed a number of tactics, including:

Spokesperson activation

With a focus on corporate wellness, we teed up interview opportunities for the Threshold Sports senior leadership team to talk about the return of mass events, including an interview on Sky News’ flagship business show, Ian King Live. Positioning spokespeople as experts in the media is not only great for awareness of the event, but also a fantastic way of building respect with consumers and establishing yourself as a trustworthy industry leader.

Case study placement

One of the best ways to engage media in your event is to tell the stories of the amazing community of participants and their reasons for signing up to an event. As many use the Threshold Trail Series as a way of raising money, case studies are a fantastic way of shining a light on the boost the events give to the charity sector.

Regional engagement

It’s crucial to work closely with the local media to announce the event’s arrival in the area, tapping into that engaged audience. The people that read them are of course more likely to decide to take part due to it being local to them, so this kind of media engagement can often have really fantastic pay-off.

Broadcast coverage

The Threshold Trail Series is known for its spectacular views as runners take on gruelling 100km routes. This means broadcast is an ideal medium to showcase what makes the events special. Whether that be getting the production teams down to the event to shoot their own footage or supplying them with interview and b-roll to make it easier for them, it’s key to engage broadcasters with those different tactics and tap into the reach they can provide. We were able to secure BBC coverage at 100% of the events in the Trail Series this summer – a first for Threshold.

We pride ourselves on delivering impactful, measurable campaigns for our clients and don’t stop working until the job is done. As a team, we are hugely passionate about sport and fitness and love what we do. You can expect that enthusiasm to shine through in every aspect of our work.

Interested in hearing about how we might be able to help you promote your mass participation or sporting event? Speak to a member of our award-winning Fitness PR team today to find out how we can support you.

Get in touch with the team