#WearHere, a Twitter and social campaign that challenged people with a passion for the city to share what makes them proud to be a Mackem, took place at 5pm on Friday, July 24 to coincide with the launch of the Sunderland International Airshow. It took Sunderland to number two in national trending lists, making it one of the most talked about hashtags on Twitter on the day.
Seven key businesses from the city – Gentoo, Sunderland AFC, Sunderland BID, Sunderland College, Sunderland Live, The Bridges Shopping Centre and the University of Sunderland, collectively known as the Vibrancy Partnership – came together with Sunderland City Council, official media partners Sunderland Echo and Sun FM, and businesses and stakeholders right across the North East to promote the hashtag. Sunderland Now, Spark FM and Sunderland’s NHS Foundation Trust were among the other key supporters.
Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at Sunderland AFC and chair of the Sunderland Business Partnership, whose members also supported #WearHere, said that the campaign had created a real buzz around the city.
He said: “The #WearHere campaign seemed to really capture the imagination of all those who love their city, tapping into the sense of pride that already exists around Sunderland, and is building everyday as we see the city boosted with major investment.
“The campaign made a big statement – we are here, we are a special place and we are ready to share that with the world. The excitement it generated really did serve to demonstrate just how proud people are of Sunderland and profiled all of the things that make the city special and different.”
It was not only a Sunderland audience that engaged with the campaign. North East organisations and social media groups like the North East Chamber of Commerce and @thenortheastHUB got behind #WearHere.
Mr Hutchinson added: “The almost universal support #WearHere generated proves that – beyond the boundaries of the city – there is real backing for Sunderland and that’s something we can be really proud of.
“People can still use the WearHere hashtag and we hope it can create a space to bring together all the positivity that exists in the city.”
Social media tracking reports on the day showed that the hashtag could have made as many as 11 million Twitter timeline appearances between 5 and 6pm.
As well as the business community, high profile supporters of Sunderland including mountaineer Alan Hinkes, Coronation Street actress Melanie Hill and broadcaster and culture vulture Lauren Laverne took to Twitter to share their passion. Seaburn Beach, St Peter’s Church and the Sunderland International Airshow were among their favourite things about Sunderland.
To see more of the tweets from the day, follow @SunderlandVibe on Twitter.