St. Anthony High School
National fundraising strategy with a documentary anchor
St. Anthony’s is an urban, Catholic high school in Jersey City, New Jersey with a really well-known boys’ basketball coach – Bob Hurley Sr. Many of their students come from high-risk neighborhoods. These kids bus in – sometimes from over an hour away – in order to take advantage of the school’s academic and sports programs. A privately funded institution, St. Anthony’s relies heavily on donations to keep its doors open.
The school was on the brink of closing in 2009 when administrators engaged TeamWorks to craft a national promotional and fundraising strategy.
St. Anthony’s is synonymous with basketball success. Their tough-love, parole-officer-turned-basketball coach had led the Friars to more state titles than any hoops program in the country. However, Coach Hurley cared more about another record – the one that had all but two of his players going to college in his 45+ years of coaching.
TeamWorks crafted an integrated marketing campaign centered around what would become an award-winning documentary film – The Street Stops Here – that used the story arc of one basketball season to open the door on the life impact St. Anthony High School produces.
Specific tactics included:
- Production and distribution of a two-hour television documentary film on PBS and ESPN
- Sponsorship partnerships for the film
- In-person speaking engagements for Coach Hurley
- A national marketing plan that included a consistently branded online presence and comprehensive social media campaign
- A national screening series in major markets including Coach Hurley and introducing the school to hundreds of new potential donors
- After-market distribution to iTunes, Netflix, and various Video On Demand networks
- A national public relations campaign that secured coverage from the Wall Street Journal to the LA Times and hundreds of media entities in between
Our Telly Award-winning documentary “The Street Stops Here” engaged audiences on PBS and ESPN, leading to a flood of donations (over seven figures) from all corners of the country. As a result, the school is still open today.