The iconic Dunlop Bridge which used to arc the famous Donington Park track was being auctioned off in aid of local East Midlands charity, Hope Against Cancer, to make way for the Park's multi-million pound restoration project.
When the gavel fell at the Goodwood Revival race meeting the lucky winner was revealed as Radio 2 DJ and renowned petrol head Chris Evans! The bcsAgency team quickly jumped into action to captialise on press opportunities and secure coverage of Chris Evans buying the Dunlop Bridge - highlighting a new and exciting era for Donington Park.
Immediately after the closing of the sale, the team received a phone call saying Chris would be flying in by Helicopter check out his new purchase in two hours! The team instantly rose to the challenge, alerting press contacts, handling a plethora of incoming media requests and liaising with Donington Park and Chris Evans' media team to arrange a photocall at the circuit.
After an hour spent hitting the phones to invite our well-honed list of local journalist contacts to attend the shoot, the team jumped in the car to greet Chris on his arrival at Donington's heli-pad.
Arriving at the Donington, met by a 15-strong throng of press contacts – including ITV Central, BBC, Press Association, Leicester Mercury and Derby Telegraph –already assembling, waiting for Chris to touchdown. Radio 5 Live was also on the phone waiting for a live interview.
Chris didn't disappoint; posing immediately for photographs before heading towards his new purchase and standing proudly on top for a frenzied photoshoot.
The quick fire campaign secured 83 pieces of coverage including multiple BBC and Central TV items and discussions on the Radio 2 Chris Evans' breakfast show, a live interview with Chris Evans on Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Derby and Leicester, Mail Online and national print coverage in the Daily Mirror, Daily Star, i, Independent and the Sun.
Donington Park secured widespread national press coverage for the first time since its reopening in 2010; placing it firmly back on the map as a leading UK racing track. Even an unofficial Twitter account was set up stating: 'I'm a bridge and I'm owned by @achrisevans'.
Hope Against Cancer also received more than £3,000 in donations after Dunlop matched the total amount raised when they read about the story in the press.
Gemma Toogood, Head of Commercial Sales & Marketing at Donington Park:
"Working with bcsAgency is a pleasure – in fact, these days we see them as an extension of our internal marketing team. Not only do they deliver a solid and structured PR plan for our general activity, but also have the ability to pull results out of the bag at short notice – when Chris Evans flew in to buy the Dunlop Bridge for example! Their knowledge of the local media is second-to-none and they are always on hand to offer advice and support when needed, which makes them the perfect addition to our internal team."
Location: East Midlands