World Boccia Championships

The BISFed 2018 World Boccia Championships were held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool from 12-18 August, attracting around 180 athletes from 32 nations. The World Championships is the biggest event on the calendar for the Paralympic sport of boccia – after The Paralympic Games.

The brief? To lead on communications and media, driving awareness of the event, the sport of boccia and its benefits as well as gaining exposure for the British team over a seven month period.

What I did:

  • Created key media moments around the launch of ticket sales, a £32000 local legacy masterplan and the announcement of the British team, engaging key partners and local schools
  • Devised compelling content and feature material to share with media and key partners such as International Paralympic Committee and Paralympics GB
  • Built an engaged online community before and during the Championships, encouraging athletes, partners and spectators to share their journeys via social media
  • Commissioned an animation studio to develop a one-minute film explaining how boccia is played to be used in pre-event promotion and to be used as part of the event presentation
  • Pitched athlete interviews to key media directly before the event
  • Managed the mixed zone, published and shared daily updates (British and international) and created a social media stream capturing all the action and atmosphere of the Championships

Successes:

  • 116 pieces of media coverage generated – including a BBC Breakfast feature item, a BBC Breakfast sports bulletin piece, a guest on Radio 4’s Saturday Live programme (for an hour and a half!), a one-page feature in The Guardian, regular updates on the BBC Sport website, features on BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland as well as coverage within disability media outlets such as Agility Magazine
  • Awareness was also raised regionally with coverage generated in Liverpool media outlets such as Liverpool Echo, Granada TV, BBC North West and Radio City
  •   Instagram following grew from 58 to almost 500 over seven months
  • In the four weeks around the Championships, the Facebook page reached 16.9k people with 6.4k engagements. Meanwhile, I generated more than 400,000 tweet impressions.
  •  The International Paralympic Committee placed 32 pieces of content about the Championships on their website

What they said:

Boccia UK Chair John Dowson:

“Your contribution on PR both before and during the event was truly fantastic. Not only was that good for the Championships but this has really raised the level of engagement that the international federation will look to achieve in the future. Our GB athletes were universally appreciative of the profile raising that you led and they really enjoyed all the press, radio and TV interviews that they took part in. This has successfully raised the profile of the sport, now we need to maintain momentum.”

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