Charity Marketing, Design + PR

Aspire Channel Swim

Last year, Big Cat was hired by Aspire to deliver a fully integrated marketing communications programme for their 17th Aspire Channel Swim.


The Aspire Channel Swim is an annual fundraising challenge run by the national charity, Aspire. Individuals sign up to swim 22 miles in their local pool to raise money for people living with Spinal Cord Injury.


  • To raise awareness about the 2016 Aspire Channel Swim event prior to its September start
  • Increase number of participants taking part in the Aspire Channel Swim to over 5000
  • Design and implement a purpose driven website that would deliver a single source of information and interaction with the charity
  • Increase funds raised to make this a £500k event 2016
  • Coverage in national media to explain the challenge, and to show the people helped by Aspire’s charity work – all with the goal of encouraging people to register for the swim on the website
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  • New logo and identity for the Aspire Channel Swim
  • Creative concept
  • Event collateral including welcome packs, pull-up banners and leaflets
  • Press ads
  • Digital collateral
  • Participant communications
  • The website was integrated with a Just Giving API
  • Case studies written up about Aspire Grant recipients and shared with local and national titles
  • Case studies written up telling inspirational personal stories of women who have participated in the Aspire Channel Swim – and these were then shared with national and regional media
  • Video commissioned to launch the ACS 2016
  • Initial announcement release pitched to all national press
  • Blog schedule prepared for countdown to the challenge start


  • To date, the programme has achieved in excess of 14 million media impressions across 37 pieces of quality coverage in a range of national and regional print, online and broadcast media
  • This has successfully reached a total Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) or £286,125.27
  • This equals a total PR value of £858,376
  • Real life stories secured in The Huffington Post, and Love It!, as well as lots of regional coverage up and down the country
  • 6,500 signups on the website, more than ever before
  • £52,000 raised before the start of the challenge – a current total of £370,000 and counting!
  • Aspire are up 53% on last year’s income!

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