Wigan Warriors' 150th Anniversary film

Wigan’s rugby league club is one of the most successful in the history of the sport. The club commissioned a film as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations. How to distil such a long and magnificent history into a short film? Where to start? Thankfully, that work had been done for us by the brilliant poet Tony Walsh

The narrator - Martin Offiah MBE


How to distil such a long and magnificent history into a short film? How could we evoke the first half of the club’s 150 years? Thankfully, that work had been done for us by the brilliant poet Tony Walsh.

Some of the Wigan greats in the film


Poem: The poem illustrates the close connection between the town and the rugby club. Both have been interlinked over the last century and a half, the one helping to sustain the other. Tony’s poem pays homage not only to the rugby club but also to the town and the people of Wigan.

Architecture: This helped us to choose the right visuals to include in the film. Like many northern English towns, civic pride and municipal rivalries have created magnificent buildings over the years. We filmed Wigan in a way that emphasised these architectural wonders - the Trencherfield Mill and Haigh Hall are particularly impressive.

Archive footage: We also used a ready supply of archive footage at the rugby club including television broadcasts over the last 40 years and the Pathe newsreels dating from earlier meant we could show some of the great players in action. Wigan and Leigh Archives kindly supplied examples of old photographs. 

Photographs: By using grainy black and white photos of miners and mill workers from the Victorian era, we connect directly to the place as it was when the club was formed. We were also able to film some of the many trophies the club retains in its possession that were won in those years.

Narrator: Another essential component was incorporated - the narrator of the poem. We wanted someone who could embody the passion, spirit and achievements of the club; someone who knows the club well. The requirements led to a shortlist of one: Martin Offiah. Martin played his peak years at Wigan in the early 1990s becoming one of the all-time greats of the sport with his statue now placed outside Wembley stadium. 

Fans: Central to the process of making the film and the end product are the fans. The club asked them for footage they had shot on their phones that we could use in the film. They obliged by sending us clips that included shots of fans in Brazil, India, Australia and Spain proudly wearing their Wigan shirts. 


The result is a film that we hope the people of Wigan and rugby league fans all over the world can enjoy. As a film production company we want to make sure our videos are not just entertaining and informative but are also successful to the business. Video has always been a primary component in earning incremental revenue, and more so now.

Motivating, enticing and striking video content has been known to have huge benefits to many sports clubs. Some of the benefits include increased revenues, an increase in ticket and merchandise sales, an improvement in fan engagement, better supporter attraction, better sponsorships and partnership deals, real-data insights and sustainable growth.

An overwhelming majority of businesses use video as a powerful marketing tool to measure their success. Sporting organisations are no less capable of doing so, especially with an average of 500,000 matches covered annually, video is everywhere. As a sporting organization, the question begs - how best should we leverage video to measure our success? How is it going to help our fans and organisation? What are my options? You can uncover new revenue opportunities and gain new fans, valuable partnerships, and enter untapped markets – all through the use of film.

Many sporting organisations have increased their ticket sales just with the use of video before a game (datatalks). Connect your fans through video - anything from showcasing your team's achievements to announcements, new kits, badges, and matches, and sharing informative, eye-catching and exciting video content can be done while you measure your return on investment alongside and through higher engagement numbers from the video content. Viewers want more videos from brands.

Watch it here

We have also created another film for Wigan related to their CREST LAUNCH, which can be watched here


See how we do it: send us an email to hello@shortstories.media if you would like to discuss your next film project.

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