I’ve written hundreds of press releases/event recaps during my career and like to think I have it down to a bit of a science at this stage.
A good press release/event recap from a sport organization is a pretty simple recipe and should include the following (I used downhill mountain biking for no particular reason – and the association and info is totally fictional!):
1) A short, catchy headline that includes the basic highlights of what you’re covering or announcing.
“Smith Wins Gold at Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Dusseldorf”
2) An intro parapraph that includes the 5Ws of what, where, who, when – and maybe a why. For a sport release, I personally think it’s key to be sure you indicate WHAT sport the release is actually about. It sounds funny to say, but honestly, I’ve seen so many releases go out that will list a bunch of the pertinent details, but neglect that key one. It may seem obvious to you if it’s your sport you’re covering, but don’t assume that the general public will know!
Dusseldorf, GER (November 19, 2023) – Brian Smith of Calgary, AB laid down a fabulous run at the Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup in Dusseldorf, GER on Sunday to win the gold medal with a total time of 1:23.123. His teammate, John Brown, also of Calgary, finished 15th.
3) A few quotes from key people involved in the event. For sport – that means from ideally the athlete with the top result(s) from the event you’re covering, and 1-2 others if possible. A wrap-up style quote from a coach at the event is also awesome as they often give a broader perspective on the event and performance. I’ll talk about some ways to get these quotes in another post.
“I’m just in shock right now,” said Smith following the race. “I knew I had a good start and knew that if I stayed clean I had a good chance to make it onto the podium, but winning gold is beyond what I could have imagined!”
4) Provide more context around who also had top performances – generally always include the athletes that made it onto the podium, and then any other top performances by Canadian athletes.
5) Wrap up with a nod to what comes next for the team:
“The Canadian mountain bike team heads to Igls, AUT next weekend for the third stop on the World Cup tour for this season.”
6) Lastly include a link to detailed results (if available), and a link to any video coverage of the event that might be available.
“FOR FULL RESULTS, please visit: <LINK>
7) Then end with what’s called a “boilerplate” for your organization, followed by your contact details should the media want to reach out to you for more information:
ABOUT THE CANADIAN MOUNTAIN BIKE ASSOCIATION
The Canadian Mountain Bike Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of mountain biking across the country. With the financial backing of the Government of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and Own the Podium, the Canadian Mountain Bike Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance mountain bike athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Mountain Bike Association, please visit us at www.dhmtnbike.ca.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Canadian Mountain Bike Association
That’s it!! Now with most sporting events happening on the weekend, there’s a good chance that if your sport organization HAS a communications-person, they probably don’t want to be working on their days off; OR maybe you don’t have a communications person – that’s where I come in! I love writing press releases and am more than happy to work on the weekend. I can do anything from just writing the release and then handing off to your team to translate, post (to your website and social media), and distribute – to managing that entire process for you. Drop me a line and let’s discuss how I can help you in your communications efforts!