Governance, Organisation


In 2014 Vicsport released the “Are You On Board?” Campaign promoting the importance and benefits of diversity on Boards to Victorian State Sport Associations. This case study outlines the process undertaken to develop the campaign and 5 key learning’s taken from the project which will inform future campaigns and may benefit other organisations undertaking a similar project.


Why was this project done?/What was the issue being solved?

In 2013, Vicsport developed the Are You On Board? Campaign (AYOB) to support conversation and action around gender diversity on Victorian State Sport Association (SSA) boards. As part of the campaign, Vicsport created and compiled tools to help SSA CEOs, Presidents and Board Members to put gender diversity on the agenda and take action.

The campaign consists of a short video clip and Call to Action, supported by a targeted training program focused on improving board member knowledge and understanding of diversity. In addition to this, a range of supporting resources was also available on the Vicsport website.

The campaign aimed to encourage key decision makers in SSAs to take the lead, embrace and encourage diversity within their organisation to achieve better outcomes for their sport.

Who was involved?

The campaign was driven by a small advisory group of individuals who were targeted due to their skills and knowledge in relation to the project:

  • Lynne Sheehan (CEO, Sports Medicine Australia – Victorian Branch)
  • Neale Price (CEO, Baseball Victoria)
  • Enna Giampicollo (Corporate Communications Manager, Melbourne & Olympic Park Trust)
  • Daniel Pinne (formerly Digital Media Manager, Melbourne Storm, now Founder, {Online Marketing})
  • Grant Cosgriff (formerly Manager - Sport Programs, Sport & Recreation Victoria, now CEO, Triathlon Victoria)
  • Fiona Jones (Sports Consultant, Vicsport)
Funding Support

The campaign was developed with support from the State Government of Victoria (Sport & Recreation Victoria) as part of the Women in Sport and Recreation (WISAR) Funding Program.


The AYOB Campaign was completed over a 10 month period with the assistance of an Advisory Group purposely developed to support the project and external experts ‘The Launch Box’ for additional communications support and ‘Visual Domain’ for video production.

Outline of the process

The campaign required significant planning and evidence gathering prior to filming and publication. The following process was followed during the campaign development:

  • Development of an initial campaign brief
  • Compilation of background data and relevant statistics
  • Consultation with target audience to identify key message and delivery method
  • An Advisory Group consisting of targeted individuals to assist in the Campaign’s development was formed
  • Identify and engage an external communications provider to assist with the campaign
  • Finalisation of the Campaign Brief incorporating target audience, key messages and delivery method
  • Compilation of supporting resources identified through background data collection
  • Develop a Call to Action supporting the Clip
  • Develop an interview script for use across all interviews
  • Identify and approach individuals to interview based on developed script, target audience and key messages
  • Identify and engage an external provider to film, edit and produce the clip
  • Development of a communications plan for the campaign
  • Develop a targeted Campaign Launch strategy and roll out
  • Evaluation of the campaign, it’s reach and short term impact.

What was achieved?

While measuring specific outcomes of a campaign such as this, to date AYOB communications have been viewed by over 1,000 individuals through a variety of methods (direct email, web content and YouTube).

In addition to the targeted promotion utilised throughout the campaign, awareness was raised through the following platforms, providing over 9,000 opportunities to further spread the message about the benefits of diversity on boards:

  • Vicsport E-news
  • Vicsport Female Administrator Network
  • Vicsport Social Media channels (Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn)
  • Vicsport Email signatures
  • Australian Sports Commission Clearinghouse for Sport

In response to the Call to Action supporting the campaign, public support was received from Cycling Victoria, Bowls Victoria and the Regional Sport Network Victoria (including an Audit of all 9 Regional Sport Assembly Boards).

Vicsport continues the promotion of the AYOB campaign and has embedded the use of the clip in all Board Training delivered from July 2014 onwards.

Challenges and Key Learning’s
  1. Engaging Experts for Advice and Guidance This was the first media based campaign that Vicsport had developed. The utilisation of a targeted Project Advisory Group along with industry experts was vital to ensuring the project was developed successfully. Their collective experience and expertise was key to identifying areas and were lacking development or providing advice on the next best step for the project.
  2. Importance of data and research to underpin the Campaign Feedback from a variety of sources indicated that the utilisation of an evidence base that was independent and formed through a range of reputable sources added weight to the key messages being shared through this campaign.  It was challenging at times to balance the need for evidence collection and review, along with the allocated time and resources for the project.  Ensuring a tight scope for the project assisted, but in topic areas where research can be plentiful it can be challenging to know when and where to ‘draw the line’.\
  3. Linking Key Messages to Core Business For this campaign it was important to ensure that a clear link was highlighted about the benefits of board diversity to an organisation’s core business. Many CEOs indicated during the consultation process that the inclusion of statistics would be beneficial and would assist them to promote the importance of the issue to their board and facilitate a commitment to action.
  4. Need for ongoing dialogue Starting a conversation to address Board Diversity can be a large step for some organisations, however once this key step is undertaken it is important for organisations to continue the conversation at board level and even more so, to take action on the issue. Vicsport would encourage organisations to look at what is happening within their organisation at all levels in relation to diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion is not an issue that can be ‘fixed’ overnight, but continual dialogue and action within an organisations governance, strategy, staffing, operations, and communications (to name a few) certainly helps.
  5. Program Investment The success of this campaign indicates how effective a small investment can be at raising awareness and building a strong foundation upon which activities addressing large scale issues can be developed in order to strengthen the sector.

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