Get Wet Stay Safe

Representatives from Get Wet Stay Safe initiative stand on Newcastle beach ready for action

Client: Sport NI and watersport National Governing Bodies

The Challenge

The campaign aims to provide necessary safety advice for the 3 main watersports which have seen the largest uptake since the pandemic – stand up paddleboarding, sit-on-top kayaking and open water swimming, through delivering a range of safety sessions from June to September.

To deliver a multi-channel marketing campaign to encourage water safety and sustained local participation and also to raise awareness of the water-based recreation opportunities in Northern Ireland.

The Role

Get Wet Stay Safe stemmed from the success of the Get Wet NI project that ran from 2016 until 2021 and continues in 2022 and beyond. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the interest in watersports, particularly open water swimming, stand-up paddleboarding and sit-on-top kayaking, grew exponentially. As a result, there was concern for new users of these activities as they may have purchased equipment with no previous safety experience or training. Outscape created a marketing campaign to promote free watersports safety sessions across Northern Ireland in the hope that more new users would learn how to stay safe in and on the water, preventing any future fatalities.

Sessions were run across all 11 council areas in Northern Ireland and are completely free to attend for anyone who is interested in how to participate in the above watersports safely.

Participants don’t need to have any previous experience or equipment though booking in advance is essential. They can expect to learn suitable weather forecasts, local tidal information/river level information, how to find out the best places to access the water and how to develop their personal performance skills.

This campaign will run in 2022 and continue in 2023.


The ‘Get Wet NI’ campaign from 2016-2022 required an engaging and targeted multi-channel marketing campaign to ensure its success. Promotion of the campaign focused on those that live locally to the location of events/participation programmes and included a particular emphasis on Sport NI’s target groups i.e.:

  • People with a disability
  • Women over 16yrs
  • Adults over 45yrs
  • Individuals with a low income

The key outputs of the project were to:

  • Develop an engaging brand that appeals to the target market
  • Develop a user-friendly website to act as a call to action to the campaign
  • Support the watersports National Governing Bodies to recruit events and participation programmes from their clubs
  • Deliver a multi-channel promotional campaign via e-marketing, social media, PR and direct marketing

Project Partners

The campaign is part of a joint initiative with Sport Northern Ireland, Swim Ireland, Swim Ulster, RNLI, Irish Surfing and the Outdoor Partnership, with promotional support from Outscape.

Project Funders

Sport NI