Widnes have earned worldwide recognition after the Beat The Scrum campaign was nominated for the Leaders In Sports Award.
The campaign, which sees Vikings stars and legends of the sport help educate the public alongside the NHS, has earned enormous credit since its launch.
But it has now been recognised globally, with the campaign shortlisted alongside programmes delivered by the likes of Manchester United, the NFL and LA Clippers.
The Beat The Scrum campaign is designed to raise awareness of how by choosing walk-in or urgent care centres in situations that aren’t serious or life-threatening, instead of A&E departments, people can avoid longer waiting times and also take pressure off local hospitals. With over 120,000 people from Warrington, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton unnecessarily visiting A&E services in the 2016/17 year, at the cost of £10m, Beat The Scrum has a vital aim.
James Rule, Chief Executive of Widnes Vikings, says: “For a campaign that has been planned and delivered within our organisation to receive global recognition as one of the best sponsorship programmes is a real source of pride.
“We would like to thank our partners at the Mid-Mersey A&E Delivery Board for their vision in backing this programme, as well as Renova Developments for supporting the campaign. Special thanks must also go the Rugby League legends, media outlets and Widnes Vikings players who have been integral to the campaign’s success. To be able to represent our club, Rugby League and the NHS at an event of this calibre, alongside leading campaigns from the NHL, NBA, NFL, ECB and Premier League, is an incredible honour.”
Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS FT, says: “Beat the Scrum has been a really innovative campaign that has taken our ‘Make the Right Call (Choose Well)’ messages to a very diverse audience, many of whom we have struggled to reach in the past.
“Making the campaign totally relevant to Rugby League fans has ensured that the fun and impactful short films have been widely viewed and shared across multiple channels. We certainly could not have hoped to have reached and informed so many potential users with our traditional and very stretched NHS resources. We congratulate the Vikings on reaching the shortlist in the Leaders in Sport Awards – this is richly deserved and we look forward to working together again soon.”