The campaign provoked excellent reach and engagement on social media, which in turn drove enormous ticket sales. Content included a celebrity endorsement film featuring football icons Sir Alex Ferguson, Lilian Thuram and Craig Brown, as well as Judy Murray, Eve Muirhead and Ross Murdoch. The team also created a cinematic-style promotional film featuring striker Cameron McKinley and another with ‘good luck’ messages from students/staff.
Media engagement was a key focus – with the footballers and coaching staff interviewed on several primetime news slots on BBC and STV, and BBC Sportscene running a seven-minute behind-the-scenes feature on the team. Prominent sports website The Athletic ran a long-read piece after embedding themselves with the team in the week running up to the game, while other coverage spanned national newspapers and BBC radio.
The University of Stirling men’s football team won three trophies in 2022/23 – the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, Queen’s Park Shield, and the British and Universities Colleges Sport Premier North Division. Over the course of the season, they played 71 matches across eight competitions.
Last year, the team – managed by Chris Geddes – became the first university side to reach the last 32 of the Scottish Cup in more than 50 years when they beat Albion Rovers with a dramatic injury time winner. They were rewarded with a trip to Tannadice to take on Dundee United in January – and held their own against their Premiership opponents. Despite the students’ impressive performance, they eventually lost the match 3-0 – but created memories that will live long in the memory.