A Case Study on Charity Partnerships
The Festival supporting WellChild
As part of Racing Together’s contribution to the sport and the partnership of organisations involved in community engagement, we aim to share case studies of best practice to support initiatives and encourage new ideas.
A standout example of high-profile community engagement by racing is the partnership between the charity WellChild and The Festival at Cheltenham. In the space of just a few weeks, a collaboration was formed and effectively communicated that had a significant impact on the charity’s existing and new beneficiaries; its annual fundraising target, and which brought a new audience to jump racing’s showcase event during the challenging time of Covid. The Jockey Club worked closely with the charity to maximise the opportunity, despite the attendant risks of limited lead time and the international focus on this blue riband sporting event.
“Quite simply, Thank You! The Festival at Cheltenham was run in support of WellChild thanks to a ground-breaking partnership created by The Jockey Club and supported by thousands of people from across the racing community.
“Like so many of you, I watched the outstanding Festival coverage on ITV which, through host and WellChild Ambassador Ed Chamberlin along with fellow Ambassadors Oli Bell and Sir AP McCoy and the whole team, allowed the WellChild message to reach millions of people around the world.
“Ed, the team at The Jockey Club, and others close to WellChild had told us in the build up to The Festival just how generous and warm the racing community is – but even that didn’t prepare us for the overwhelming response we have had over the past few days and weeks, an incredible and much-needed boost at such an important time.”
Colin Dyer, CEO WellChild
Why partner with a charity?
- At little or no cost, you can support a cause whose beneficiaries may benefit for years to come from your partnership
- To gain exposure to an entirely new audience
- Allow your team to express their creativity in support of the charity – studies show partnerships are motivating and rewarding for those involved and often that volunteering opportunities result
- To help the charity reach more beneficiaries able to access its services, as well as raise funds and awareness.
What should racecourses consider?
- On course branding opportunities
- Merchandise and staff jackets
- Art competitions or ways to engage the charity’s beneficiaries and racing supporters
- Ambassador roles
- Interviews and short clips for TV and social media
- Race titles and racecard/ CCTV adverts
- Bucket collections
- Winner’s rug
- Briefing TV present to gain coverage
- Wider support from racing’s media, Racing Together and Great British Racing
- Collaboration with other sponsors and partners
- Inviting guests and providing opportunities to present awards
- Assess the potential for a longer-term partnership – what could be established on an ongoing basis?
- Measure outputs and impacts whenever possible.
How can the charity make the most of the partnership?
- Consider the audience of the racecourse and how best to engage them with the cause
- Activation – how can you activate the partnership through media, branding and activity
- Be aware of the affinity that exists with racing fans – if racing is seen to support a cause, there is clear evidence that participants and followers will support, too
- Identify your important messages and ensure they are used by both teams.
“We were very pleased with how it turned out. It was a huge PR success and received many national media mentions over the days of the Festival and beyond. As we know many sports have a charity linked to them in some way, so I guess the wider media don’t see this as ‘new news’ away from the sports / racing pages.
“We are running a media analysis that will inform the value from our national media mentions and it has been put forward for numerous awards by WellChild and us, going well beyond racing. We have suggested a few times that racing unites to support one charity nationally so that might be something we take forward.”
Nevin Truesdale, CEO The Jockey Club
How can Racing Together help?
Racing Together is at the sport’s disposal to share, communicate and connect to networks. Please get in touch to discuss ideas about how we can support delivery of a successful charity partnership. firstname.lastname@example.org