The world-famous annual Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, leaving a large void in the sporting calendar. The charity, Power2Inspire saw this as an opportunity to create a more inclusive event whilst raising their profile to obtain much-needed funds for their charity. We were briefed to create an attention-grabbing video to raise their profile, capture the attention of local and national media outlets, create a buzz on social media and target sports fans and Cambridge and Oxford geographical areas. All these activities would help Power2Inspire to hit their target of £10,000 to deliver inclusive activities such as sports days, golf festivals, supersensory walks and seated exercise classes.
Our Creative Solution
This fast-turnaround project was completed at the height of the pandemic in less than six weeks, requiring highly efficient communication and project management between the four agencies involved. The filming could not be completed in person due to Covid-19 restrictions, so all footage was self-shot under guidance from the production team and edited professionally with bespoke motion graphics. The rowers’ social media content was gathered quickly and used to drive race streaming “live” awareness – this included profiles of the rowers and fundraising updates. Outreach to the media began with local outlets in Oxford and Cambridge and then seeded with the national press. The race was streamed simultaneously live over Facebook and via Power2Inspire and Give As You Live’s fundraising website.
The result was a highly emotive eight-minute video that successfully achieved our initial objectives. Power2Inspire hit 250% of their target with total donations exceeding £25,000 – this enabled the charity to employ a Deputy CEO and engage with 350,00 people through virtual seated exercise classes. We secured 22 pieces of digital and print coverage, including features in The Times, Metro, Time Out, Evening Standard, and BBC Sport. The event attracted 505,000 views on the Give As You Live website and a reach of as many as 700 million people online. We received national support from BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, Radio 4 and the video was shared 954 times on social media.