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.
Below are some of the statistics for the first 4 days of the release in May 2022 after the 150th Anniversary Film was published:
- TOTAL DIGITAL REACH: 118, 000
- FACEBOOK REACH : 95,000
- INSTAGRAM VIDEO VIEWS: 4,038
- TWITTER ENGAGEMENTS*: 7,824
- LINKEDIN ENGAGEMENTS*: 579
- YOUTUBE VIEWS : 1,754
- WEBSITE: 4,057
*ENGAGEMENTS refers to reactions, comments, shares, link clicks
How to distill such a long and magnificent history into a short film? How could we evoke the first half of the club’s 150 years? We needed to use imagery that reflected the full stretch of time whilst bringing out the meaning and nuances of the poem itself.
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.
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.
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 photographs depicting scenes in the town from the earliest years of the club. 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.
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.
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 for 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 organisation, 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.