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BT - Discover Disability Football

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BT – #DiscoverDisabilityFootball

Shining a light on an under-represented community

As part of BT’s transformational ‘4-3-3’ strategy to activate it’s lead partnerships with the 4 Home Nations Football Associations - disability and para football was identified as a key focus, with BT setting out to increase awareness, encourage more support for the national Home Nations Para teams and inspire the next generation of disability players. With very little existing exposure, the challenge was how to communicate BT’s commitment to a mainstream audience and capture the imagination of people across the UK.

To really make a difference to this community, we developed, with BT,  four campaigns, with #DiscoverDisabilityFootball as the overarching activation platform and call-to-action. 

1. ReachMedia Partnership
2. FA Disability Cup broadcast
3. ParaFootball Adventures content series
4. Internal Disability Panel Event

Reach Media Partnership

We identified UN recognised ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ as a meaningful moment to launch the #DiscoverDisabilityFootball overarching campaign.

A media partnership was chosen to reach a large mainstream audience and after a thorough selection process, we partnered with Reach PLC.

Working closely with each of the FA’s and BT internal-comms team, we uncovered the many inspiring stories and incredible work that is going on within P&D football. The execution was then meticulously planned across each channel, identifying which story to tell and how, balancing education and inspiration. This ensured tailored messaging and content was delivered to both national and regional audiences, in the most relevant and impactful way.

Key activity included:

Double page spread and back page takeovers across national and regional papers

Online articles on Mirror.co.uk

Full day takeover of Mirror Football Twitter page

Promotion across key football podcasts


FA Disability Cup

The FA Disability Cup is the largest competition of its kind in England, giving players within impairment-specific football a national competition of their own. The Finals, held at St George’sPark, returned in July 2021, with five impairment specific cup final matches played across the weekend.


Supporting BT’s lead partnership with The Football Association, production arm BT Sport were enlisted to broadcast the whole weekend live for the first time ever. Presented by Alex Brooker, Jules Breach and five-time Paralympic championHannah Cockcroft, the coverage was the most accessible live broadcast of a football match in the UK to date, offering different accessibility features including enhanced audio description and British Sign Language. The broadcast was also made available for anyone to watch without a subscription via
btsport.com, the app and Facebook channel, in addition to a partnership with Channel 4, who broadcast the highlights package further widening the reach of the finals to a mainstream audience.


Para Football Adventures

BT created an original content series with presenters Alex Brooker and Chelcee Grimes visiting each of the HomeNations, meeting stars of the elite national teams as well as some young up and coming talent. The five-part series featured:

Scotland – Amputee

Northern Ireland – Powerchair

Wales – Deaf Futsal

England – Cerebral Palsy

Inspiring, but light-hearted, the series featured on BT Sport, Channel 4 and across BT, BT Sport and FA social channels throughout July 2021.

 

Internal Disability Panel Event

On Thursday 5th August 2021, BT held an internal virtual roundtable event, broadcast to the whole organisation with the aim to educate colleagues about disability and how to be better allies for each other in work and in sport - showcasing the work BT have been doing through the 4-3-3 strategy.  The event was hosted by Lyndsey Hipgrave, with panellists including The FA’s Baroness Sue Campbell, Michael Owen and BT4-3-3 squad volunteers.

 

Categories: Sports and Leisure

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