Beat The Scrum - 2018 Widnes Vikings Primary Partner

Beat The Scrum - 2018 Widnes Vikings Primary Partner widnesvikings.co.uk
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28th November 2017

Widnes Vikings are proud to announce a ground-breaking new primary club partnership deal with the NHS for the upcoming 2018 Betfred Super League season. 

The landmark partnership will see the Vikings create a new brand called ‘Beat The Scrum’, which will be used to raise awareness of how people can lead healthier lifestyles and make the right choices when accessing NHS services. Through providing an innovative mix of digital promotion, PR campaigns, stadium advertising, as well as appearing on the front of the Vikings 2018 playing shirts, the Beat The Scrum programme will make a major contribution towards efforts to reduce the pressures faced by vital NHS services, such as accident and emergency departments. 

This partnership, which has been commissioned by a coalition of NHS organisations within the Mid-Mersey A&E Delivery Board, has brought significant investment into Widnes Vikings. It has also provided these NHS organisations with an unmatched platform to educate and positively influence the public. 

The partnership builds upon a pioneering social media and PR campaign that Widnes Vikings delivered with NHS Halton CCG in June 2017, which successfully engaged the public on how to understand their NHS options. With more than 100,000 online video views, extensive regional and national media coverage, and a measurable impact on reducing pressure on local A&E services, the campaign was an unprecedented success. The Vikings collected both the Digital Campaign of the Year and Integrated Campaign of the Year accolades at the Chartered Institute Of Marketing Northern Awards for the project, and were also featured at the Chartered Institute Of PR Pride Awards.

Last week, the campaign was also showcased at the Academy of Fab NHS Awards at the O2 Arena, London, where it collected the prestigious Rosa Parks Award.

The announcement of this partnership coincides with the launch of www.beatthescrum.com today. This site, which will develop throughout the year, has been produced by the leading design and digital agency, Carbon Creative. It will serve as a hub for the campaigns - providing information, news, blogs and exclusive content. People can register at the site now for an exclusive first look at the new Vikings 2018 primary first-team shirt, ahead of its public launch. 

The first Beat The Scrum campaign will be launched in early December, with Vikings stars and legends of Rugby League coming together to raise awareness of winter health issues.  The club has commissioned Jack-All Productions to produce the video series that supports this campaign, working alongside the Vikings Director of Communications and Digital Engagement, John Hughes.   

James Rule, Chief Executive of Widnes Vikings, says: “We believe that this is one of the most exciting commercial partnerships in UK sport. This project delivers significant investment into our club, whilst also giving Widnes Vikings and the Rugby League community at large an opportunity to make a real difference to the National Health Service. At times of increasing demand and limited resources, the NHS faces unprecedented challenges. Through using creativity and every channel at our disposal, we will raise real awareness of how people can make the right NHS choices and stay healthier for longer. These unique campaigns will be creative and fun, and I hope that Rugby League supporters from across the region can enjoy and get behind them.”

Dave Sweeney, CEO of NHS Halton CCG, says: “We are incredibly excited by the potential that the Beat The Scrum partnership has to reach, inspire and educate the public. Halton CCG’s initial campaign with the club earlier this year achieved a phenomenal level of interest and engagement, and coincided with a 7.2% reduction in admissions to A&E departments from Halton. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to scale up these efforts in partnership with our fellow NHS organisations to make a much bigger impact across the region.”

He continues: “I’d encourage Rugby League supporters to get behind these campaigns. Please share the videos that will be produced, get involved in the fun events we’ll be delivering, and help spread the word. The NHS is there for us all when we need it most, so please play your part in ensuring that it gets the support that it deserves.”

Mel Pickup, CEO of Warrington and Halton Hospitals, says: “The Beat The Scrum partnership has a unique potential to engage local people, through using the region’s passion for Rugby League. At a time when the NHS faces real demand, it is important that people know how to choose the right services when they experience illnesses or injuries. We are excited by the opportunity to inspire and inform the public with this brand and the upcoming campaigns.”

Ann Marr, CEO of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals, says: “This initiative has brought together a host of NHS organisations who have a shared aim – to ensure that people receive the care they need, by choosing the services that are right for them. Through working with Widnes Vikings’ stars and legends of Rugby League, we will help people to stay healthier for longer and know their NHS options. By working together as a community, we can ensure that the NHS is able to effectively support people who need it most and help relieve pressures on vital services like Accident and Emergency.”

Beat The Scrum - 2018 Widnes Vikings Primary Partner widnesvikings.co.uk