The team at Active Norfolk has enjoyed considerable success in boosting youth sport through its sponsorship of a supplement that until recently appeared in the Eastern Daily Press, the region’s local newspaper.
The eight-page supplement, called ‘Rising Stars’, featured news and action from a host of youth sports clubs and schools across the county. Active Norfolk banners were stripped throughout the supplement and the team prepared a page of editorial for each edition that appeared on the last page. The deal with the paper meant that Active Norfolk paid £400.00 for each supplement, which is far below normal advertising rates.
The low price was due to both the newsworthy nature of the content and the fact that the paper was able to make money through selling copies of photographs that had appeared in the supplement.
“Rising Stars was great from a marketing point of view,” says Vicki Hall, Marketing and Communications Officer at Active Norfolk, “local clubs loved it as it promoted their events and activities and attracted new members without costing them anything. From our point of view it served us well as it raised the profile of the Active Norfolk brand and built up relationships with key stakeholders. The only reason it stopped is that the paper wanted to reduce the supplement down to two normal pages, rather than an insert, and we felt that this would reduce its impact so much that it was no longer worth the investment. I think this situation reflects the problems being faced by print media as people increasingly turn to the web for local news. However, while it lasted it certainly worked for us and the clubs we’re associated with, so I certainly think that local newspapers still have a role to play in sports activity marketing.”