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The Big Splash

Big Splash - a national campaign to get the nation swimming

British Swimming is working in partnership with the BBC to run a national campaign to get the nation swimming. 

The objectives of the campaign are:

  • To generate significant publicity for swimming and its partners
  • To make a significant contribution to the ASAs target of 270k additional people swimming once a week
  • To raise participation levels and revenue for pools.

A 10-month celebration of swimming

The campaign starts with a week of activities across the BBC from 7th May which culminates at the Great Salford Swim on Sunday 15th May, coverage of which will be shown on BBC2.  A new website www.bigsplash.co.uk will provide people with all the information they need to get the most out of their time in the pool.

The launch week marks the start of a 10 month national campaign to get new people into the pool and encourage existing swimmers to go to the pool more often. The campaign will build on existing ASA and partner pool programmes - significant promotional activity will drive new participants to sign-up up to adult lessons, structured sessions and British Gas Swimfit.

The BBC is investing in significant national and local programming and promotion of the Big Splash across TV, radio and the internet. 

The BBC will also bring assets such as celebrities, presenters, and a significant web presence.  Swimming is the only Olympic Sport the BBC will be supporting as part of mainstream programming in the run-up to the 2012 Games.

British Swimming will be investing in a range of activities to recruit new swimmers including:

  • 170,000 existing ASA members will be tasked to recruit one family member or friend to take part in the Big Splash, as well as participating themselves
  • 10,000 members of the Institute of Swimming (Swim Teachers) will each be tasked to recruit participants (pupils and their families).  The majority of swimming teachers coach up to 16 hours a week so have access to hundreds of potential participants every week
  • 600,000 primary school children receive school swimming lessons every year.  We will be communicating via our school networks to recruit them and their families
  • Communications to the staff and customer bases of our partners such as British Gas, Speedo and Kellogg's.

A mass participation event to mark the culmination of the campaign

We are working with the BBC and a high profile charity partner to create a mass participation event to celebrate the end of the campaign in March 2012.  We are aiming to get tens of thousands of people into the pool to complete a 1km challenge swim, either individually or as part of a team.  Flagship events will be televised by the BBC and are likely to include celebrity challenges; athlete appearances and world record attempts.  We are working with Swimathon on how we might work with them, particularly in respect of the events in 2012.

How pools can get involved

We want to work with hundreds of pools to:

  • Promote the Big Splash through the campaign
  • Recruit participants for the Big Splash campaign
  • To offer branded 'Big Splash' sessions, either from existing sessions or new ones within the pool programme, for example adult refresher lessons
  • To support the event in March 2012, more detail being available closer to the time.

Benefits to participating pools include:

  • New customers swimming regularly
  • Promotional support to maximise recruitment of participants at a local level
  • Coverage of their facility on the Big Splash and the BBC websites (the Sport Relief equivalent website previously received 600,000 visitors a month), and the potential opportunity to appear in BBC programming
  • Access to customer data for customers in their local areas expressing interest in signing up for programmes and the Big Splash event
  • Potential to retain new customers who will maintain their swimming activity after the challenge.