What is it?
Prostate Cancer UK is using its position as the official charity partner of the Football League to raise awareness of the disease through sport.
What’s happening online?
Men and women are being encouraged to visit the charity’s website to test their knowledge of the disease with a simple quiz, sign for the Men United team and find out how they can be involved in the campaign. They can also sign up to a regular email newsletter, which will give them the chance to win match tickets, and sports journalists are writing exclusive articles for the website and newsletter.
The charity is also launching a video advert fronted by the comedian Bill Bailey. Filmed at Milwall FC, the advert features Bailey asking viewers to "sign for Men United". It will premiere during the half-time slot of this weekend’s FA cup game between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool, and also be available to watch online.
How long will it run?
The campaign will run for two years, replacing the charity’s awareness month. Although there will be an initial burst of activity for five weeks after the launch and at other points, it is intended to engage people in the long term."We don’t only want to catch people’s eyes; we want lasting relationships", says Vivienne Francis, director of communications at Prostate Cancer UK. "Being ‘aware’ for one month and dormant for eleven isn’t what we’re about."
What does it aim to achieve?
The charity estimates that the campaign will reach up to 96 per cent of men and women over 45 in the UK at least four times. It hopes to alert men to the fact that they are at risk of prostate cancer and encourage them to "come together against a common enemy". The charity expects to see an increase in sign-ups for fundraising events, more people getting involved in its work and an increase in donations and other forms of support.
Third Sector verdict
Football is an obvious choice for a campaign aimed at men, and the appealing website and exclusive articles offer people a real incentive to visit the website and get involved. It is also good to see the charity encouraging men to think about it in the long term by sending regular newsletters and rejecting the one-month-a-year approach.