Case Study: Sports Stars Help Quit Smoking Message Rut Through in Remote WA Community
Cutting through with a quit smoking message is difficult at the best of times, but that task becomes even more challenging when the target audience is children and adolescents. That's why Mawarnkarra Aboriginal Health Service returned to PickStar for a third time, looking for four high profile sports stars and media personalities to help influence the local communities' attitudes towards smoking.
Matthew Pavlich (AFL, retired)
Abbey Holmes (AFLW, media personality)
Corey 'Homicide' Williams (NBL, basketball personality)
Danny Green (Boxing star)
Secure four sports stars to work with the young people in the Roebourne community to educate and encourage them to stop smoking and improve their lifestyle through the benefits of sports and exercise.
Connecting with PickStar
The Tackling Indigenous Smoking team in Roebourne, WA, had been impressed with the level of cut through they were able to achieve for their message with the help of sports stars secured through PickStar on two previous occasions. So they again turned to PickStar to book four sports stars for this year's campaign.
Mawarnkarra is the Aboriginal Health Service in Roebourne, WA (40kms from Karratha). They are the largest primary health care provider in the region, giving direct services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the Roebourne area.
One of their biggest campaigns is their Stop Smoking campaign, which aims to discourage smoking amongst adults and young people.
With campaigns in previous years utilising primarily AFL and basketball stars, this year While their former bookings focused on AFL and basketball stars, this time Mawarnkarra wanted to also include an athlete from a different sport to spark additional interest.
PickStar sent their request out to a wide variety of sports celebrities from different codes, and Mawarnkarra were soon extremely pleased to welcome AFL superstar Matthew Pavlich, AFLW sensation and 2019 Survivor contestant Abbey Holmes, basketball personality Corey 'Homicide' Williams and boxing legend Danny Green.
On 8 August the four athletes woke up at the crack of dawn to fly from Perth to Karratha, before a 40 minute drive out to Roebourne. They then greeted the kids and spoke for approximately an hour on the benefits of sport, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, as well as highlighting the pitfalls of smoking.
The young people were eager to hear from the sports stars, and reacted especially positively to Abbey's powerful message to 'smash smoking to smash sports!'.
After this, the fun really began. The sports celebrities joined the kids for lunch before spending two hours running specialised skills clinics and offering meet-and-greet, photo and autograph opportunities.
The sports stars found the experience equally rewarding and had a blast engaging with the young people and hearing their stories.
"What a day! I' absolutely had a ball...the kids loved it and it was a real privilege to be involved" - Abbey Holmes
"It was awesome...great to get amongst the community to talk about the great message of stop smoking and spread the message via sports and exercise." - Matthew Pavlich
"Yesterday's event was a great success. The kids actually engaged and enjoyed it. It was a great turn out and we had a few kids come up and say they are gonna stop smoking, which is a first!" - Sahneemah from Mawarnkarra
Sports idols and personalities are incredibly effective at delivering messages and influencing audiences.
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