An historic moment in football led to a surge in sales and bumper online visitor figures for one regional daily which pulled out all the stops to cover the event.
The South Wales Evening Post produced a series of supplements and special features in the run-up to the League Cup final between Swansea City FC and Bradford City at Wembley Stadium, as well as sending a team of photographers and reporters to the match and producing a massive 34 pages of coverage the following day.
The Swans triumphed 5-0 in the match – the biggest goal margin in League Cup final history – for the club’s first major trophy in their 100 years.
And the Post chronicled the excitement every step of the way, with extensive pre-coverage as well as 10 pages of content the following day.
Their efforts paid off with an eight per cent boost on the Saturday, the day before the match, as a four-page wrap and features on the ‘Big 10’ saw 1,800 extra copies fly off the shelves.
And on the Monday, sales were given an even bigger boost with 5,500 more papers sold than usual – an increase of 23pc.
The coverage boosted online figures as well. Between Saturday and the end of Tuesday, unique visitors to the site’s sports section had reached over 18,300 – a 42pc increase on the same period in January.
Acting editor Cathy Duncan said she was delighted with the response the coverage had received.
“It’s been a great week for the South Wales Evening Post, one of the best ever,” she said.
“We pride ourselves on being THE Swans paper and have supported them through thick and thin. It has been great to get behind them along with the rest of the city.
“Colleagues across the whole business worked really hard and came up with some great ideas. It just goes to show there is more than one great team in Swansea,” she added.
Preview coverage began as soon as the Swans beat Chelsea in the semis, with a sponsored ‘countdown to Wembley’ clock appearing on the front page as well as online.
On the Thursday before the match, a 16-page pull-out featuring player profiles was included in the edition, with good luck messages printed on Friday and the wrap appearing on the Saturday.
The first 10 pages of Monday’s newspaper were dedicated to Swans news and included a map of Europe highlighting where the Swans could play next season, along with a 24-page supplement.
On the day itself, four sports writers and three photographers – including picture editor Steve Phillips – went to Wembley to cover the match and get fans’ reactions.
Back in Swansea, 12 members of the team including reporters, production journalists, photographic, and sport writers worked to pull together the 34 pages of coverage for the Monday.
Two work experience students also got involved, carrying out vox pops around the city.
As well as the boost to circulation figures, the paper ran a We’re off to Wembley advertising campaign, generating an extra £25,000.