Research revealed that a lack of sports officials at grassroots level may be jeopardising the success of competitive sport in the UK and so the Barclays Spaces for Sports Ref Drive Campaign offered a means to tackle the problem with a series of refereeing masterclasses across the UK. Less than 10% of people surveyed would even consider becoming a sporting official and yet without their presence, grassroots level matches are being cancelled more and more frequently.
The campaign needed to demonstrate Barclays commitment to the sustainability and health of UK sport whilst also generating significant enthusiasm for the role of officials in sport at all levels. Radio was selected as the most effective medium for raising awareness of the shortage whilst also targeting potential recruits to the masterclasses on a regional basis. The presence of top-level cricket, rugby and football officials as spokespeople provided an immense draw for the media as well as an accurate insight into the demands of the role at all levels. The interviews were carried out as an Outside Broadcast from a Barclays Spaces for Sports Flagship Site in London to add atmosphere, appeal and relevance.
The campaign achieved excellent results and is the most successful of the Barclays Spaces for Sports campaigns to date in terms of coverage across all media, including broadcast. The radio element generated coverage on a total of 98 UK radio stations with a combined weekly reach of over 16.5 million.