Sky Ride, 1 by Mediacom London for Sky Tv

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Sky Ride, 1

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Industry Сable/Satellite television
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market United Kingdom
Agency Mediacom London
Released September 2015

Awards

Festival of Media Global Awards 2016
INSIGHT The Utility/Public Service Award Bronze

Credits & Description

BRAND: Sky
CATEGORIES: Entertainment, Publishing & Broadcasting
REGION: United Kingdom
DATE: June - September 2015
AGENCY: MediaCom
MEDIA CHANNEL: Experiential,Digital,Online,Out-of-Home,Print
Insight
When Sky began its sponsorship of British cycling, health and well-being was a big topic of conversation in the UK with almost two-thirds of adults and a third of children classified as either overweight or obese.
Campaigns to get people to be active can often seem sanctimonious. Sky wanted to encourage physical activity that was fun and communal, something that brought families together and lowered the perceived barrier to entry that many sports have to newcomers.
But in 2008 interest in cycling was minimal in Britain. Sky’s ambition was both simple and huge. To inspire excitement by winning the Tour de France and to encourage participation by getting ordinary families in the UK to ride their bikes. Lots of ideas were generated to encourage participation. The strongest one was to encourage bike riding by closing cities to traffic. It was the strongest, but, like the elite competition idea, certainly not easy.
Strategy
To succeed in getting everyone in the UK to get on their bikes, the strategy was: “Creating Inspiration to Drive Participation”.
While top-level cycling is as strategic and tactical as any elite sport, the act of cycling itself is simple, fun and rewarding. On top of that, cycling has a relatively low barrier to entry - many people own or have access to bikes and as a form of exercise cycling is less intimidating than, say, joining a gym.
So the focus was on both ends of the cycling spectrum, championing elite-level cycling with Team Sky & the Great British team. MediaCom’s role meanwhile was to create a campaign that invited every ordinary British citizen to jump on a bicycle themselves by closing down Britain’s busiest cities for a day and encouraging families to participate in ‘Sky Ride’.
Media drove participation in the Sky Ride events which took over city centres, so that cyclists of all ages and abilities would be able to ride safely together on traffic-free routes. Local print, OOH, digital and social channels were all used to create a real sense of a special event coming to each city, with tailored creative and messaging used to deliver impact.
Execution
Sky took what was then, an unprecedented step of sponsoring not a team, or even an event, but a nation’s entire sport - cycling. Sky focused on making a real difference in a way that nobody else could. What followed was an astonishing transformation.
In cities across the UK, including London, Sky Rides have shut off entire city centres from traffic and hand them to their residents to enjoy on their bikes at their own pace. Sky Rides close off Britain’s biggest cities to traffic and turn them into playgrounds for families.
In 2009 Sky founded its professional cycling team, Team Sky, with riders over the years including Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard, managed by Sir Dave Brailsford. Its mission statement: “Race to Inspire”.
Results
Team Sky won the Tour de France with a British Rider in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Cycling went from obscurity in the UK to front-page news, becoming one of the nation’s favourite sports.
Since 2009 over 960,000 people have enjoyed Sky Ride events in cities across the UK, and are forecast to reach over one million in 2016.
The one million cyclist target was smashed in 2012 and by 2015, because of Sky, over 1.7 million had taken up cycling regularly, with more people in the UK cycling than playing football – truly changing people’s lives. These increases were directly attributable to Sky’s activity, based on GFK NOP research (10,000 UK adults, 16+), only counting cyclists who had taken up cycling in the year of the survey who stated that Sky initiatives and Sky cycling had influenced them or were the main reason for doing so.