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We try…Meta-Row at Metabolic London

We try…Meta-Row at Metabolic London

As we come to the end of week two in our #30for30 campaign, new classes and fitness inspiration have been very welcome here in the Sport & Fitness team. Partly because we love trying the latest creations of course, but mainly to help break up the endless runs and spinning classes that have been churned out day-after-day to date.

So, when I heard about Metabolic London, and their innovative Meta-Row class, I was instantly intrigued (if not slightly intimidated) by the class description. It simply read: “Not for the faint-hearted. This class is brutal and will test the best”. Despite my better judgement, I signed up then and there.

Sunday morning soon came around and I was on my way to Mornington Crescent for the class. Having dropped off my bag in the changing rooms, I was good to go. Meta-Row was London’s first boutique group rowing class when it launched in summer 2017. The gym itself is unlike anything I’ve seen before – a huge open space decked out with black walls and more equipment than you could ever wish for.

Scott, the instructor for our class, gathered us together to walk everyone through what we were about to do. Asking if anyone was nursing a hangover, I must admit I was tempted to raise my hand – only to make it less embarrassing for when I inevitably passed out mid-class, but I ultimately thought better of it.

The class itself is made up of row and total body circuit intervals, with interchangeable rounds. With all of the rowing machines lined up, we kicked off with a four minute row. Straight on to the first circuit, which entailed a combination of medicine ball throws, burpees, squats and crunches. One round down and I’m already feeling it. No time to let up, however, as we are into another four minute row and then back on to the mats for the next circuit – featuring kettle bell swings and lifts, followed by a crawl into a press up.

Back on the rowing machine we went – this time for a five minute stint – to try and beat our stats from before, cheered on willingly by the ever-present Scott. A final circuit which included “explosive” burpees and I was well and truly spent. Despite the physical trauma I’d just been through, the feeling of achievement was unparalleled.

The best thing about Meta-Row is it’s suitable for all levels of fitness – you can go at your own pace. At £10 for your first class, it’s cheaper than the majority of boutique classes out there, and you’ll do well to find a better workout. We’ll be back, just as soon as our DOMS ease up.

The PHA Group Sports PR Campaign Shortlisted for CIPR Excellence Award

CIPR Excellence AwardsWe are delighted to announce The PHA Group have been shortlisted for the CIPR Excellence Awards on the back of our ground-breaking sports PR campaign for HUGO BOSS and around the world yachtsman Alex Thomson.

To see why the Mast Walk campaign was shortlisted you can watch the campaign video below:

The Excellence Awards are the public relations industry’s longest running and most rigorous awards scheme and is now in its 31st year of rewarding the best practice in public relations, acknowledging personal and team achievement at the highest professional level across the UK.

Of the 600 entries for this year’s competition around 120 PR agencies, campaigns and teams were shortlisted including just five others in The PHA Group’s category – Arts, Culture and Sports Campaign of the Year.

The PHA Group will be up against other notable entrants including the Invictus Games and The British Library. The Co-Chair of the CIPR Excellence Awards Judges Paul Mylrea said:

“Everyone who has made this year’s shortlist should feel extremely proud of getting this far. The standard of entries continues to improve year on year, demonstrating an increasingly vibrant public relations profession.”

The next stage of the award process is a panel interview with the team behind the mast walk campaign. Wish us luck!

The PHA Group Sports PR Campaign Shortlisted for CIPR Excellence Award

CIPR Excellence AwardsWe are delighted to announce The PHA Group have been shortlisted for the CIPR Excellence Awards on the back of our ground-breaking sports PR campaign for HUGO BOSS and around the world yachtsman Alex Thomson.

To see why the Mast Walk campaign was shortlisted you can watch the campaign video below:

The Excellence Awards are the public relations industry’s longest running and most rigorous awards scheme and is now in it’s 31st year of rewarding the best practice in public relations, acknowledging personal and team achievement at the highest professional level across the UK.

Of the 600 entries for this years competition around 120 PR agencies, campaigns and teams were shortlisted including just five others in The PHA Group’s category – Arts, Culture and Sports Campaign of the Year.

The PHA Group will be up against other notable entrants including the Invictus Games and The British Library. The Co-Chair of the CIPR Excellence Awards Judges Paul Mylrea said:

“Everyone who has made this year’s shortlist should feel extremely proud of getting this far. The standard of entries continues to improve year on year, demonstrating an increasingly vibrant public relations profession.”

The next stage of the award process is a panel interview with the team behind the mast walk campaign. Wish us luck!

Five brands that used sporting ambassadors….and got it right!

To coincide with the launch of our brand new Sports PR download How to choose the right ambassador for your sports brand, we thought we’d highlight five great examples of businesses who picked perfect sports ambassadors for their brands.

Choosing the right personality to represent your brand can be an incredibly tough task. Get it right and can engage millions and take your profile to a whole new level. Get it wrong and no only could you fail to make an impact but, far worse, you could damage your reputation.

But rather than dwell on failures, in this post we wanted to highlight five strong examples of celebrity endorsement that we believe anyone interested in finding an ambassador should be looking to emulate.

Image Courtesy of Omar Rawlings, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Omar Rawlings, flickr.com

1) Nike

Campaign: No Cup Is Safe

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods

Nike’s partnership with golfing greats Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy has been documented all over the world. This is an example of a partnership between a brand and an ambassador (or in this case, two ambassadors) which triggers consumers to ask ‘what next?’ Each campaign the brand releases seems to be bigger and better than its last. The partnership just makes sense; it reaches the target audience through content which is intelligent, playful, and yet usually very simple.

The ‘No Cup is Safe’ campaign is one of the best that the brand has produced in our eyes:

Image Courtesy of BCN Content Factory, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of BCN Content Factory, flickr.com

2) Adidas

Campaign: Take The Stage

David Beckham

Ok, so if you have David Beckham at your disposal, it’s difficult to go wrong! But the Adidas ‘Take The Stage’ campaign was particularly effective because it used a very simple concept, and created content which had a real human interest angle. It’s difficult to watch this video and not be moved by the reaction of fans.

When a brand is able to create a sense of compassion and warmth through the content it produces with an ambassador, then that’s a clever partnership. If a brand is able to extend that sense of warmth beyond the people within the campaign and convince consumers to feel good about the brand itself, then that brand is onto a winner.

Image Courtesy of Sport Photo, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Sport Photo, flickr.com

3) Gillette

Campaign: Here’s to Confidence

Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Derek Jeter

The reason we love this campaign so much? Because it is totally different from the usual ‘I’m a ridiculously handsome man; look at me shaving’ campaign. This campaign got people talking. It got us laughing. It got us sharing. The potential for a campaign to go viral when the content surprises and tickles the consumer is greatly enhanced, and that’s just one of many reasons why we feel Gillette hit the nail on the head with this partnership.

 

Image Courtesy of Beats Tsai, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Beats Tsai, flickr.com

4) Beats by Dre

Campaign: The Game Before The Game

Neymar, Suarez, Robin Van Persie….and many more!

This campaign featured a multitude of sports stars. On the back of the release of the TV advert, Ad Week ran the headline ‘Did Beats by Dre just out-Nike Nike?’ It’s safe to say, you don’t earn a headline like that easily. The ambassadors used within this advertising campaign, coupled with the many stories and sub-plots which are told throughout it, inspired and touched the audience. But more than capturing the audience via a TV commercial, the brand was able to create an overarching campaign which united people. Regardless of your nationality, background, age or interests, there was something within this campaign which spoke to you as an individual. And that is a very clever thing indeed.

 

5) Olay

Campaign: Olay Essentials

Jessica Ennis-Hill

This is a fantastic example of how capturing an ambassador at the right moment is sometimes just as important as choosing the right person. Ennis-Hill became the poster girl for London 2012; the face of a nation’s sporting success. What Olay did was to identify Ennis-Hill’s potential and pinpoint an opportunity to turn her into the face of their brand too. In doing so, all of the qualities which Ennis-Hill exuded as a result of The Games – success, grace, ambition, courage – were translated into the values that consumers associated with Olay as a brand. This partnership enabled Olay to reach well beyond the beauty pages; it allowed them to reach new audiences and to unite women all over the country.