Case Study / March 3, 2017

Premier League Kicks Heroes

A series of online short graphic novels

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of one of the Premier League’s most successful community outreach programmes
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A picture can tell a thousand words, particularly in football.


We were tasked with telling the story of the Premier League’s Kicks programme – a highly successful community outreach programme celebrating its 10th anniversary.

An idea was needed that not only celebrated the programme’s achievements and its impact in communities but also attracted a new generation of Kicks participants.

Tapping into the modern phenomenon of Marvel comics, while alluding to the celebrated football stories of past generations, we immortalised the stories of 20 inspirational individuals in comic book form – the real-life Premier League Kicks Heroes.


Working with the Premier League and all 20 Premier League clubs, we identified one star story to bring to life and immortalise in graphic novel form.

We then brought on board leading comic book scriptwriter Ferg Handley and artist John McCrea to create the novels. Throughout his career McCrea has illustrated iconic characters such as Superman, Batman, Wolverine and Hulk.

Each graphic novel charts the journey of each hero from the point they entered the programme and how it changed their life right through to their transformation into a star member of the community.

Inspired by the bold and colourful new Premier League brand, our digital comics created powerful visual content that ensured the Premier League was front and centre of the PR campaign.

Pitch Marketing Group worked closely with the Premier League to set up a national media event around our first ‘Hero’ – Spurs’ Sivan Sherabayani – which was attended by England star Dele Alli, as well as Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore and sports minister Tracey Crouch. On the same day, the Premier League had a Kicks takeover on their website homepage, ensuring everyone that landed on the site knew about the Kicks Heroes campaign.

Over the course of the season, all 20 Premier League clubs have identified and celebrated their own Kicks Hero, creating a unique and powerful owned content series.


80 pieces of national and regional media coverage to date, including BBC News at Ten, Sky News, the Sun and Daily Mail Online.

The campaign has enabled the Premier League to take greater ownership of the Kicks programme, delivering a consistent narrative in its anniversary year, in turn creating greater engagement and interest in the programme across all 20 Premier League clubs.