Helping to get Britain Moving


The impact of mass participation campaigns

Katie Reid, Account Executive

According to the NHS, in 2014, 58% of women and 65% of men were overweight or obese. Obesity prevalence has increased from 15% in 1993 to 26% in 2014. This is also reflected in the fact that in 2015, only 36% of adults (16+) played sport at least once a week and 57% did not play any sport in the 28 days prior to being surveyed. It doesn’t come as a surprise therefore, that more brands and governing bodies are coming together to help to reverse this trend.
Entering the mass participation space is different to a lot of other sport sponsorship campaigns. There is an opportunity for immediate and personal contact with existing and potential customers within one campaign. Brands like HSBC UK have understood this pressing nationwide issue and seized the opportunity. Brands benefit from the positive societal message that can be portrayed by mass participation and the public begin to view brands in a different light, which in turn builds their brand reputation.
HSBC, for example, are generally viewed as a large corporate global bank. They wanted to change this reputation to allow themselves to speak more freely with local areas and people throughout Britain, whilst promoting the benefits of healthy lifestyles with British Cycling. HSBC UK and British Cycling have joined together in a partnership to educate Britain on the physical, economic and mental health benefits of cycling. The overarching goal of the partnership is to get two million more people cycling by 2020.

Throughout the summer CSM have worked with HSBC UK and British Cycling to deliver the HSBC UK City Rides. These are fourteen mass participation family orientated, closed city centre road cycling events that aim to break down barriers to entry and showcase what Britain would be like as a cycling nation. The series is over three months of the summer, touring fourteen different cities across Britain. Within the first year of the partnership fourteen events brought 110,250 members of the public together to cycle around their local city. The aim was to grow the participant numbers every year into the partnership to make a positive step towards the 2020 goal. The nationwide campaign has been a success for HSBC UK and British Cycling in regard to participant numbers, participant experience and customer relationship management.
Another example of a movement campaign is Lucozade Sport ‘Made to Move’. Critically, the brand pledged to get 1 million people moving more by 2020, and revised its brand positioning to ‘…inspiring people to live more active lives through products and services that encourage people to move more’. CSM worked with Lucozade Sport to revise its partnership positioning and broaden its core audience, we focused on partners who had a mutual desire to get people moving and therefore, would be able to produce genuine proof points and enablers for this promise.
Prioritising running, fitness and mass participation, we built ground-breaking relationships with Tough Mudder, free outdoor fitness brand OurParks, Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua and social media fitness influencer Emily Skye.  The new partners sit at the heart of Lucozade’s marketing plans, providing inspiration and access to ‘moving more’ through content and assets leveraged across an integrated broadcast, digital, experiential and on pack campaign.

As well as working with some of the world’s leading brands on their mass participation campaigns, CSM also own and deliver some of the UK’s biggest and most iconic mass participation events. From major closed road cycling events such as VĂ©lo Birmingham through to adidas City Runs – London’s leading closed road running series – our Active division deliver all aspects of the event including proposition development, marketing and operational delivery. It’s one of the fastest growing divisions here at CSM and we’re excited to see our portfolio grow in the coming years.

Mass participation campaigns are contributing towards the goal of eradicating the stigma around Britain’s laziness and general lack of exercise. They are continuing to address the issues we are seeing in Britain today. These are only two examples of the many brands and governing bodies that are working together to encourage the people of Britain to participate. Alongside participation, we must ensure we are working towards educating the nation on how to make a positive, healthy lifestyle change as the long-term goal to ensure sustained exercise and an overall societal change. Which makes us ask the question are these campaigns sustainable for brands, or is it just a trend?

Looking at the results of these specific campaigns, CSM can infer that mass participation campaigns are a sustainable way for brands to meet their objectives. We can see from our post-event work with HSBC UK and British Cycling that together we are taking positive steps forward in helping Britain continue to move. HSBC UK are increasing their school engagement programme in which they go into schools with British Cycling and educate children on the benefits of healthy living. Also, we are accelerating the noise around British Cycling’s participation programmes to encourage repeat exercise with social experiences, cycling clubs and safe routes. With the use of their ongoing campaign ‘Made to Move’, Lucozade Sport are striving to continue to make the UK move more and ultimately achieve their objective of getting 1 million people moving more by 2020. Both mass participation campaigns, therefore, are encouraging Britain to get moving and continue moving. These campaigns are a step towards expectations that we, as a nation, will progress our overall physical, mental and economic health.