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#longlivetheprince wins at PR Week Awards

Nick Barron

A campaign to help young people at risk of knife crime became the most-awarded work of the year at last night’s PR Week Awards, the biggest event in the communications industry calendar.

#LongLiveThePrince for the Kiyan Prince Foundation told the story of Kiyan, a young man whose life was cut tragically short in 2006, aged 15, when he was stabbed in the heart and killed, while trying to break up a fight outside his school in Edgware, London.

Kiyan, who played for the Queens Park Rangers youth team, was described as ‘a prodigious footballing talent’, and the campaign imagined Kiyan’ 15 years after his death, aged 30, when he would have been at the peak of his professional footballing career.

Working with EA Sports, creative studio Framestore, the University of Bradford and friends, family and former QPR teammates, the campaign team brought Kiyan back to life inside FIFA21, recreating his playing style and creating a photoreal likeness of how Kiyan would have appeared aged 30. QPR announced his ‘signing’ and awarded him the squad number 30 for the season. With support from JD, Adidas and Topps, Kiyan’s story appeared across London, generated more than 1,000 pieces of media coverage and the support of influencers including Raheem Sterling and F2Freestylers.

Developed by MHP Mischief, the campaign won PR Week gold for Best Integrated Campaign, Best Not-For-Profit, Best Content, Best Creative and Best Purpose Campaign.

The impact of the campaign is still being felt, both by the gamers who can play as Kiyan and learn about his story – and through the charitable donations that fund the Kiyan Prince Foundation’s outreach work. Kiyan’s legacy is no longer one of heartbreak, but of inspiration, love and support.

Commenting on the five award wins, the PR Week judges added:

“This campaign approached knife crime from a new angle and found a way to connect with audiences, as shown by the fundraising achieved. #LongLiveThePrince was everywhere. It aligned many major partners and offered strong storytelling with a powerful personal story in an innovative way to a very targeted audience.

“We cannot praise this campaign enough – touching and very well executed. It will be talked about and held up as an example of best practice for years to come. The team should be incredibly proud.”