markettiers were briefed to secure broadcast coverage to promote the launch of Heart Valve Voice’s new football check-up programme to ‘Tackle Valve Disease’. The programme involved offering free heart check-ups to fans aged over 55 at the home games of Everton, Brentford and Southampton on the 4th, 10th and 11thDecember respectively, ahead of match kick-off. Our aim was to secure national and regional coverage, in particular targeting the areas where the matches were taking place.
Data on the prevalence of the disease underpinned the conversation alongside supporting research on levels of awareness, which is worryingly low. A recent survey of over 60s, conducted by the charity, revealed that 94% of people do not know what the most common form of the disease, aortic stenosis, is and almost three-quarters of people say their doctor rarely or never checks their heart with a stethoscope, despite this being one of the first steps to detect heart valve disease.
To front the broadcast day we suggested having a multitude of spokespeople available – representatives from the charity, medical experts and spokespeople from the local clubs involved to provide a regional angle for media.
Excellent coverage was secured including interviews for the Chairman of Brentford Football Club Cliff Crown with Sky Sports News TV and talkSPORT, Sky also made the clips available to Sky News Radio and therefore to the network of commercial stations UK wide. Other highlights included three BBCs local to the clubs whose games were being visited by the charity covering the story. At the Brentford game alone they carried out 40 check-ups and were able to pick up three heart murmurs. Those people were advised to get to their doctor for further treatment, which the cardiologist believes meant they’d saved two lives just from that activity.