Bird Consultancy win the Virtual Grand National for the fifth year running!

Following the success of the PR and Social Media campaign delivered for the Virtual Grand National in 2020, Bird Consultancy has been retained once again to promote the virtual event for a 5th year.

Bird has worked with the team behind the state of the art, computer-generated steeplechase since it was first broadcast on ITV4 in 2017.

In 2020 the race was propelled into the spotlight when the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree was cancelled as the UK entered its first lockdown for Covid-19.

The virtual race was viewed by 4.8million, and bookmakers stepped up to raise more than £3 million for NHS Charities, and £300,000 for medical charities in Ireland.

Kate Byford, Director of PR for Bird Consultancy, said “To be involved in such a phenomenal national sporting event was just incredible. We always recognised its potential to grow and become a well-respected addition to the main event, but I’m not sure any of us ever saw it standing in for the world-famous race. But that is exactly what happened last year, and with no other sport taking place, we knew it was going to be big news, and we were right!”

“From the moment we made the announcement on Friday 27th March, it captured the attention of the press, the horse racing world, and the general public on social media, and our team did an amazing job delivering outstanding press and social media coverage. We are all excited to be working with the team again for 2021.”

Peter Eaton, from Carm Productions, creators of the unique TV concept, said: “We have worked with Bird Consultancy on the Virtual Grand National since 2017, but the 2020 show was just an incredible experience for us all. Bird provided fantastic support with press and social media throughout and handled everything so professionally. The press and social media coverage generated was quite remarkable.”

The 2020 race received hundreds of mentions online from all over the world, with support from the national newspapers in the UK and Ireland and across broadcast media too.

Commentators including former Jockey Richard Pitman, and the show’s host Nick Luck, were on BBC News, BBC Breakfast, North West Tonight, BBC Radio 5 Live, Today programme on Radio 4, Radio City, BBC Radio Merseyside, Granada Reports, ITV news, the list goes on and on.

The social media was incredible, and the monitoring service maxed out at a reach of over 25 million. During the race it was all top 5 topics trending on Twitter in the UK, and number 2 worldwide.

The Virtual Grand National 2021 will be shown across ITV the weekend of the 9/10 April.

Bird Consultancy is one of the regions longest established independent PR agencies, celebrating 30 years in business in 2020.