Prostate Cancer UK’s bid to change the game for men


Key Points

  • Prostate Cancer UK needed the public to know what they did and what a lapel badge known as their ‘Man of Men’ was all about
  • Developing TV and radio advertising to support partnerships with football stakeholders reached men on the terraces and not in the doctor’s surgery
  • Prostate Cancer UK’s work in football turned an unknown entity into an established player, selling 15,000 “Man of Men” badges in just one month

The Challenge

Prostate cancer has now overtaken breast cancer, making it the third biggest killing cancer in the UK. Today, one man dies every 45 minutes of prostate cancer in the UK and after decades of underfunding, Prostate Cancer UK wanted to raise build trust and knowledge of their cause with the public to raise money to fund research. Despite famous faces in football sporting the charity’s man-shaped badge and making it highly recognisable, research told them not enough people understood the significance or associations the badge had with Prostate Cancer UK.

Prostate Cancer UK’s media agency - the7stars needed to create a solution to inform football fans about the purpose of the badge as well as creating the motivation and pride to wear it themselves. Subsequently, this would encourage further engagement with Prostate Cancer UK and drive donations. The audience needed to know that the ‘Man of Men’ badges represented everyone in the fight against prostate cancer and how they could purchase one.

The TV Solution

The campaign needed to give the target audience of 45+ men a sense of authenticity on the topic that would allow them to feel like it’s a big issue – something that’s relevant to them and a team they want to be a part of.  

Sky Sports indexes highly amongst 45+ men and the Sky Sports Soccer Saturday team, particularly Jeff Stelling, had a number of reasons to show their support and raise money. As this group were respected and listened to by the male audience, the7stars believed they were best placed to deliver the message about what the badge represents and why it was important. It was decided that football pundit and supporter of the cause Jeff Stelling was the ideal face to lead the campaign.

To encourage conversation, it was crucial that the creative was viewed with family and friends and not when they were alone. For this reason, Boxing Day was chosen as the optimal time to launch the campaign, as traditionally on this day, families come together and tune in to the football. This unique day offered the perfect opportunity to kickstart conversations about men’s health. In addition, advertising on TV would allow this engagement to happen simultaneously in many homes right across the country. It was further supported by radio advertising and editorial and a print partnership with Trinity Mirror using quotes about the badge from famous football managers linked to the cause.

The Plan

With direct access to the nation’s favourite Sky Sports pundits, Prostate Cancer UK was able to hijack the half time breaks on Boxing Day for both Tottenham vs. Southampton & Liverpool vs Swansea that season. These cherry-picked spots provided the perfect opportunity to reach 45+ Men whilst they were surrounded by loved ones and less likely to be alone.

The7stars used a 60” creative designed with a ‘behind the scenes’ look, where Jeff candidly starts talking with his co-hosts about what the badge means to him. By mentioning how one man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer, it created a relatable time frame for the issue as there are 45 minutes in a football half. The unscripted conversation put authenticity behind their words which made the emotional reactions feel genuine. This took the film beyond advertising and garnered an element of respect from the target audience.

Following the launch, they followed up with 30” cut down spots, which ran in eight live Premier League fixtures and all over Sky Sports News until the end of January 2018. As well as this, Prostate Cancer UK was given access to the raw footage from Soccer Saturday, which allowed them to develop numerous additional cuts for their social channels. By continuing the campaign’s involvement in football, the charity further established itself as a cause football fans should care about.

Other media channels were used to spread awareness alongside TV, such as live editorial content from the Daily Mirror, radio competitions on Talksport and A3 washroom panels at 41 football stadiums. Prostate Cancer UK also spread clips and images across social media using   #WhosTheMan. 

As a result of this, the creative message would become more recognisable, but TV was critical to sparking the conversation amongst families and friends.


  • The launch day created so much interest that Prostate Cancer UK’s site crashed
  • Each subsequent day saw immediate increases in web traffic and over the Prostate Cancer UK site, there was a 17% increase in page views
  • By the end of January, 15,000 badges had been sold, alongside significant spikes in donations and event sign ups

We’ve been delighted with how the Jeff Stelling TV campaign has impacted on our brand. We created the advert to look like a break in Soccer Saturday and give the viewer the feeling that you’re seeing behind the curtain, seeing unscripted conversations between the panel around why they wear the badge and support Prostate Cancer UK. It was brilliant to launch it on one of the biggest days in the football calendar, Boxing Day, and now we’re attached to some of the biggest games broadcast on Sky, cementing our status with football fans as a cause and charity they should care about. It’s become a pillar of our activity in football and is a campaign we continue to run.

Nicholas Wright Head of Marketing Communications at Prostate Cancer UK


Sector: Charities

Brand: Prostate Cancer UK

Campaign objectives: To raise the profile of Prostate Cancer UK in the minds of football fans by explaining what’s behind their “Man of Men” badge

Target Audience: 45+ Men

Budget: approx. £75,000

Campaign Dates: 26th Dec 2017 to 31st Jan 2018

TV Usage: 60 and 30 second spots

Creative Agency: In-house

Media Agency:  the7stars

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