#A-Star Sports Scoops Best PR Campaign Prize At Franchising Sector Awards Ceremony

A-Star Sports, a multi-sports coaching franchise business, has continued its remarkable award-winning run by scooping the Best PR Campaign prize at the prestigious 2013 Franchise Marketing Awards.

The UK-wide company, which was established only 18 months ago, was judged by an independent panel to have run an innovative and effective campaign to raise public awareness and, as a result, achieve sustainable growth.

The Franchise Marketing Awards are the franchising sector`s most important recognition of marketing expertise, and A-Star Sports triumphed against strong competition from many long-established UK businesses.

The Best PR Campaign award underlines the strongly-focused and economically sound strategy employed during the company`s short existence.

A-Star Sports, which offers coaching for children as young as two years old and up to 10 years old, now has 12 centres throughout the UK, offering fun-filled sessions which coach very young children to play individually, in games with a partner or in teams.

Sharon Bassett, the company’s Director of Marketing and Communications and co-founder, received the award at London Olympia, and commented: The franchising sector is rich in innovative, quick-thinking businesses and to be recognised in this way by experts in the industry is a wonderful tribute to the entire team at A-Star Sports.

As a very new business, we needed a clear strategy to build the brand and create credibility as a franchisor, as well as cementing our reputation as an ethical, quality-driven business.

The judging panel said A-Star Sports had run `a well executed and detailed PR campaign that included a wide variety of media. We particularly liked that it was tied into current events such as the Olympics, and the clear evidence provided made it very easy to select A-Star Sports as winners`.

A-Star Sports has already won a clutch of awards, including being a double winner at the What’s On 4 Junior Awards 2012. It was a Startups 100 winner in 2012, marking it as `a force to be reckoned with`. TV Dragons` Den star Theo Paphitis chose it as a `Small Business Sunday` winner, earning significant social media-based recognition as Paphitis re-tweeted its message to his then 260,000+ followers. At the start of this year it was named as a Guardian Small Business Network’s Best Practice Exchange winner, featuring in the Guardian website and in the national paper.

A-Star Sports, which provides a wide variety of sports, games and activities in weekly private classes, holiday clubs, parties and events, gained significant media exposure in during the 2012 Olympics year and it has capitalised on this by securing the services of GB hockey star and Olympic bronze medallist Helen Richardson as an ambassador.

Most recently, it has also signed Alex Harrison, a hugely successful player and coach in UK Dodgeball, one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. Harrison is highly committed to increasing participation in sport from a young age having experienced the positive benefits for himself.

The company is projecting the establishment of 40 centres in the UK within the next three to four years and, after detailed territory mapping, has identified the ultimate potential of 240 centres.

Franchisees are offered a full training package to get them started as well as ongoing coaching and business-orientated support, including help with financial affairs, marketing, general management, health and safety, HR and the benefit of a regularly reviewed coaching programme.