Communicating Buildbase's commitment to supporting local football clubs



In 2016, Buildbase became the title sponsor of the FA Trophy and FA Vase competitions for lower league football in the UK. The sponsorship was a natural fit for both sides, and Buildbase were keen to demonstrate their support for local football clubs by pledging £100,000 in building supplies to clubs over the two-year agreement. We worked with Buildbase to create the programme to identify who should receive the support and to launch it nationally.

Shaping shopper behaviour

Making active or public commitments to products, brands or causes makes us much more likely to see it through – We lock ourselves in when we commit

Buildbase’s commitment to give away £100,000 of building, electrical and hire products is a fantastic example of a brand making a commitment pledge. In terms of their sponsorship of the FA Trophy and FA Vase competitions, this was a great way to demonstrate their support of local football clubs in a visible and tangible way.

Working closely with the Buildbase team, we decided that the building products on offer would make the most difference to each football clubs clubhouse – their changing rooms, bar, function facilities etc.

To get maximum engagement from clubs, and to make sure we could find the clubs who planned to use the building products on offer to impact their communities in the most positive way, we launched the ‘Buildbase Club Renovation Programme’. Interested clubs would register online and submit an application. From all the entries, a shortlist of 6 clubs would be chosen to come to Wembley and pitch to a panel of Buildbase and FA representatives to convince them that their club deserved a share of the prize. A winner would be chosen from the FA Trophy competition and one from the FA Vase.

To make sure the programme was communicated consistently, had the necessary stand out and fit Buildbase’s branding, we created a distinctive visual style. This married football and building imagery, whilst retaining Buildbase’s iconic red and white colour scheme.

All football clubs who participate in either the FA Trophy or FA Vase were invited to participate in the programme through their FA email address. Once a club had expressed their interest, we activated the Buildbase branch network to help them put together their application.

To make sure Buildbase’s branch teams were enthusiastic about helping, we used the behavioural bias of a social incentive. This is the appeal to someone’s better nature and the impact they can have on society to get them to take action rather than using personal incentives like money or rewards to encourage participation. We gave the branch teams support packs to take to their local football clubs to help support them in putting together their proposals.

We recognised that many of the eligible clubs are run by part time staff or volunteers, so we made sure the pitch wasn’t a daunting prospect for the clubs. We sent out a leaflet that helped them put together their proposal, using the behavioural tool of chunking to break the seemingly large task into smaller, more manageable chunks. The leaflet told them the areas their bid would be judged against, and therefore how to put together an excellent pitch.

Driving business

The first Buildbase Club Renovation Programme had 60 applications, and the shortlisted clubs pitched at Wembley in March 2017. The winners were announced in April 2017 as Hanwell Town from the FA Trophy, and Cleethorpes Town from the FA Vase. Both clubs were delighted and have used the building products to transform the fortunes of their football clubs and the wider communities.

2018’s winners were announced on May 3rd 2018 as Cheadle Town FC and Needham Market FC.  Cheadle Town FC plan to use the bursary to open up its facilities to new girls’, women’s and disability teams as well as upgrading the clubhouse, changing rooms, showers and converting a shipping container into an outdoor café.

Needham Market FC will improve its facilities – including changing rooms, function rooms and a community café – to supplement the recently-installed 3G pitch and make the club a hub for the community.

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