Making Protecht part of the conversation in relation to managing head injuries in sport

With debate raging about what action should be taken to protect professional athletes from concussion and brain injury, we communicated how the use of this cutting-edge piece of technology could make a tangible and important difference.

Sports & Wellbeing Analytics (SWA) is a Welsh-based technology company which has developed a revolutionary solution to measure and monitor all impacts incurred by an athlete to their head.

Through a chip placed in a mouthguard or mouthpiece it is possible for coaches, managers and medics to receive precise information – in real time – about the intensity of any collision or head impact that occurs on the field of play or during training, and to take action accordingly. Initially developed for elite rugby and already in use at a number of clubs – including Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Gloucester Rugby and Ospreys – the Protecht system can be applied to any sport.

With the news agenda placing a heavy focus on the issue and commentators from across the worlds of football and rugby discussing the need to mitigate risk in relation to long-term brain illnesses, SWA engaged PHA to help them join the conversation and to communicate to as wide an audience as possible what the Protecht technology does and how it can be applied to improve athlete wellbeing.

Our strategy focussed on driving an intensive media engagement campaign that placed SWA at the heart of the conversation. Utilising SWA’s spokespeople and partner clubs, we were able to secure widespread coverage in the national sport, broadcast and industry press including across the BBC, Sky Sports News, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sun and more.

We reached out to the numerous journalists who were covering the issue of brain injuries in sport, to educate them about the Protecht system and to explain how the technology could be applied to improve player welfare.

We secured broadcast interview slots for SWA spokespeople to enable them to speak authoritatively about the subject matter and to bring to life how the technology works.

We used ongoing developments in the news agenda – including the nasty collision between Premier League players Raul Jimenez and David Luiz (which left Jimenez with a fractured skull) – to continue to put SWA spokespeople forward to discuss the issue and to explain how monitoring and measuring head impacts could help to make sport safer.

We also worked with a number of SWA’s partners – including the medical and coaching teams at Harlequins and Gloucester Rugby – to provide first-person testimony and anecdotal evidence about the benefits of the system. Bristol Bears Women’s team also spoke about the issues specifically in relation to women’s rugby.

18

pieces of coverage secured in four weeks

350%

SWA recorded a 350% increase in web traffic during the month of our campaign

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