What we delivered:
Everton Football Club enlisted Influential to deliver a comprehensive stakeholder engagement and public consultation campaign for The People’s Project – its plans for a new stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront and to regenerate Goodison Park.
Our challenge was to create high awareness of the social, economic and heritage benefits of the proposals among a wide audience including non-Everton fans and those without an interest in football.
Working the Club’s stadium development team and its planning consultant CBRE, we created a brand identity for The People’s Project which would have universal appeal, inside and outside of footballing circles.
Following detailed stakeholder mapping, we devised an engagement strategy across two phases of consultation. This included specific tactics to reach key political and civic stakeholders across the Liverpool City Region (LCR), heritage bodies and business groups.
The centrepiece of the campaign was an ambitious touring exhibition which took the consultation and an immersive VR experience of the new stadium directly to the public. Visiting 21 locations across LCR, including areas of high footfall, enabled us to reach non-football supporters and non-Everton fans, drawing in 18,000 people.
Digital channels were also key to reaching the general public.A custom-built questionnaire was housed on a dedicated website which also acted as a central repository for the consultation exhibition material. Animated videos and other rich media conveyed key messages in an engaging way.
Alongside an email distribution, a carefully planned geo-targeted social media campaign allowed us to reach key audiences across LCR. We created a digital toolkit of key consultation material for local businesses and community organisation to share via their own channels, helping to drive responses from their employees, customers and networks.
Software prevented people from submitting multiple responses and a telephone helpline allowed people to dictate their feedback.
Data analysis from each stage of the consultation created a platform to re-engage with key civic and political stakeholders with insights matched to their interests.
All of the activity was amplified through a highly-visible media relations and advertising campaign.
The campaign generated an unprecedented 63,000 responses with 96% support for the plans. Crucially, more than 4,600 respondents described themselves as non-Everton supporters.
This level of engagement makes it one of, if not the, highest ever response to a commercial development consultation in the history of the city.
This project has drawn praise from leading experts in the fields of marketing, sports business and civic engagement. It was awarded the ‘Best Property and Construction Campaign’ at the Northern Marketing Awards 2019 and is a finalist in both the 2020 Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Awards and the Planning Awards 2020.
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