On the 30th of July 2021, the MRJ Recruitment team successfully held our first inaugural 5-a-side fundraiser at GOALS in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.
And upon looking back on the runup to the day, it’s been a truly amazing journey.
From the months it’s taken to line up the venue, to the nerve-wracking inevitable wait for either a team to drop out or for the weather to fail us, there was a lot riding on the day that could have gone wrong. And sure enough, at half 7, GOALS Manchester called us to let us know “guys there’s a chance it might chuck it down”.
But as half 12 rolled around and each team started to arrive with no last-minute dropouts, the rain stopped and with everything considered, the grand total raised for The Christie Charity is equalling up to an astonishing amount firmly in the thousands (final amount coming this week)
And that’s in no small part due to each and every person that got involved across the business sector. From the teams to the sponsors, to the professional refs and everyone else in between, it was great to see such a big turnout gather under a simple but important aim: To have some fun and raise some money for those affected with cancer.
And it can’t be said enough how much the entire business community in totality contributed to making the day such an enjoyable experience. When Grant, Jody and I initially came up with the idea of starting this annual event all those months ago, it came off the back of our team wanting to bring the business sector together after what can only be described as an unforgettable 16 months.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns we’ve all had to face have involuntarily created a divide between us all where we’ve all had to batten down the hatches and weather the storm with little face to face contact with our peers. But now, with the vaccine steadily being spread across society and bars etc. now in full operation, what better way to reinvigorate the community than with a light-hearted kick-about with some fun and familiar faces.
And based on the turnout and reception we’ve received; it was greatly overdue. As the day rolled along and matches commenced, the contest became surprising competitive, with each team vying for a shot of the MRJ cup. And of the 16 teams that all took part, when all was said and done, it was Norton Barrie and Douglas Scott that rightly walked away with the trophies (though, of course, if I had it my way, the MRJ team would have ended up on top).
But to be honest, it was never really about all that. Winning and losing the cup came secondary to what was the real victory of the day, the business sector coming together again after so long apart.
With all said and done, the day and its success has really driven home to the team the power of word of mouth and social media marketing. It was the careful combination of these two elements and prior relationships being called upon to nail initial sponsors that, in totality, led to the word being spread out regarding the day being tangible and something that is happening rather than just an idea being floated around.
Traditionally speaking, events such as these can initially start quite well but slowly dissolve as interest in the day wanes, but with a careful marketing strategy based around slowly building up to the day and teasing the various elements of work that are being put into making the fundraiser a reality, it all together created a large enough noise to let people know we’re serious about making the day a success.
While this was the first time we at MRJ Recruitment have held such an event like this which inevitably came with some reservations, based on the success and the fantastic turnout of businesses and celebrities/footballers alike, you can rest assured that this won’t be the last you see or hear of the “MRJ Footie Fundraiser”.