The Client

British Rowing is the governing body for the sport of rowing. It’s an organisation that’s committed to ensuring that the sport continues to thrive, from grassroots, right up to winning medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The organisation is passionate about increasing participation in the sport, whether you want to compete, coach, volunteer or use rowing to keep fit and enjoy the outdoors.

The Challenge

British Rowing conducted a review of its membership programme. This review looked at the services now available to its members, trends in membership sign ups and survey feedback from the rowing community. From this review, British Rowing acknowledged the need for a more contemporary, efficient, targeted and valued membership offering.

Moving away from a Silver, Gold and Platinum structure, British Rowing introduced a new membership programme which included four main membership types:

  • RACE, for all rowers who want to compete in British Rowing competitions
  • ROW, for recreational, indoor, coastal and gig rowers
  • COACH, for British Rowing qualified coaches
  • SUPPORT, for officials and volunteers, and followers of the GB Rowing Team

Brandwave was retained to help create a membership re-launch campaign. The objectives were to increase awareness of this new structure, help increase membership sign ups and retain its current members.

We knew this needed to be an emotive campaign. Our insight led approach meant we could look beyond the physical benefits of becoming a British Rowing member and communicate a more meaningful message, something that connects members with British Rowing as a brand.

Natasha ClarkeAccount Director

The Result

We worked collaboratively with British Rowing to create the “Together we are rowing” campaign. This became an identity for their new membership structure. Our approach to the work started at the heart of British Rowing: its members. We conducted qualitative research to learn from the different types of rowers who fit into this structure. We wanted to learn about what rowing really meant to them; how they first got introduced to rowing, what they get from the sport and what it is that keeps them involved. It’s this insight that lead to the development of a campaign message that resonated across all membership types.

Together we are rowing

The campaign is about the community of rowers who truly make the sport. Whether they’re racers dedicated to training and focused on the next win, or rowers who simply love being out on the water, coaches who help to turn an ambitious team into a winning one to, supporters who constantly help the sport to perform at its best. Together, they support one another to continue to grow the sport. We rolled out the campaign across various channels; revitalising their membership pack and the British Rowing membership card, creating print advertising and email, website and social media marketing assets.

“This campaign is about helping people to find their space in the sport of rowing. It was crucial to involve the rowing community within this exercise. Brandwave’s approach meant we could learn from racers, rowers, coaches and volunteers and communicate an inclusive message that means something to everyone.”

Phil Hornsey

Director of Membership & Rowing Community