As part of their first CSR campaign, Paddy Power were eager to help eradicate homophobia in football. They employed Heavyweight Sport to help guide them through a myriad of football politics whilst maximising the campaign.
The Right Behind Gay Footballers #RBGF campaign climaxed on 16th September 2013 and encouraged professional footballers across the nation to show their support for the initiative by wearing rainbow laces in their boots.
Heavyweight suggested that Paddy Power should partner Stonewall for the initiative. Our business helped to introduce this unlikely marriage between an Irish bookies and a gay rights charity, ensuring that it would not only run without hitch, but would blossom.
Without official backing from The Premier League and the FA, we knew that the Rainbow Laces campaign might face obstacles...
We set to work speaking with footballers, pundits, former sportsmen and high-profile celebrities to create a wave of social media support for rainbow laces. And in doing so, we would circumvent obstacles that would come our way.
We encouraged numerous footballers, managers, backroom staff, boxers, actors, pundits and celebrities to publicly back the campaign. Some clubs said they couldn’t officially support the #RBGF campaign, but their players and fans did!
The campaign was an overwhelming success. Working collaboratively with Paddy Power and its creative agency enabled Heavyweight Sport to help put this important issue right back on football's agenda. We were proud and honoured to be an integral part of such an important and relevant campaign.
The Rainbow Laces campaign produced over 400 pieces of earned media coverage with a combined reach of over ½ a billion. This included:
• 250 print and online articles, from the likes of the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Metro and The Guardian
• 161 items on radio including BBC Radio 1 and talkSport.
• 35 pieces of TV coverage from the likes of BBC News 24, Sky News and CNN.
• This helped generate around 600 million PR impressions and generate 27% public awareness among UK adults.
• In terms of mentions, the campaign saw 28,220 of the @paddypower username. This led to more than 101 million impressions. The best performing tweets saw hundreds of retweets. The launch tweet alone was retweeted 2,206 times.