flamingos

The youth of the world would be more likely to know the Quidditch rules than those of croquet …

We kicked off our first campaign for Heathrow this week by unveiling a crazy croquet lawn smack in the centre of Terminal 2’s departure lounge…

Why? To help Heathrow celebrate Great British pastimes and highlight World Duty Free’s exclusive summer long £9.99 deal on Pimm’s. And what better way than to marry the two than with one of the only sports that actively encourages you to enjoy a tipple or two whilst playing?

First things first, some tactical research was put into field to try and unravel the nation’s feelings about croquet. It’s always nice when the research works in your favour and we can’t promise there wasn’t any whooping when we discovered that a) croquet is one of the top three iconic British sports… and b) no-one seems to be playing it anymore. The c) was that Pimm’s drinking – perhaps unsurprisingly – came out as one of the sport’s most alluring attributes.

Secondly, realising that we were slightly lacking in knowledge ourselves about the game, we brought Croquet East – the Shoreditch club getting hipsters to pair mallets with their moustaches – on board as our experts to help us to devise a new version of the game which can be played by passengers in just 15 minutes.

Thus Heathrow’s Crazy Croquet was born.

Designed to evoke the best of British, the flamboyant course in Terminal 2 features a host of quintessentials, including ball blocking rose bushes, teacup shaped hoops and whimsical flamingos. And if that isn’t enough, the lawn is staffed by a team of Pimm’s croquet aficionados who’ll not only explain the optimal ball stroking method but also offer adults a refreshing glass of Pimm’s after they’ve downed their mallets.

But with Wimbledon in full swing (boom boom) and tennis stealing the international spotlight, how do focus attention on its lesser known sister sport? Some extra delving into our stats revealed a couple of headline grabbers – one in twenty Brits had never even heard of the sport and quite astonishingly 16 times more understand the rules of Harry Potter’s favourite sport Quidditch better than those of the “Queen of Games”.

Paired with some ammunition from the Croquet Association’s latest report – which highlighted the sport will be unrecognisable by 2037 unless a younger audience start playing – and we had a story strong enough to put croquet on an even par with Wimbledon.

We’re chuffed with the results, with print coverage landing in the Evening Standard just a few hours after we opened to the public and swiftly followed by pieces in The Times, IndependentThe Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror by the following morning. That alongside mounds of online coverage and spots on BBC Radio 2 Breakfast and SKY News.

Smiles all round.