EE takes aim at online hate

The ‘Hate. Not in My Shirt’ campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, is designed to combat all forms of online and offline hate.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


Social media has brought the dark side of the beautiful game to light across the globe. Yet the hate directed at global football superstars is simply a fragment of the hate served up in everyday life. 

A recent YouGov survey commissioned by EE found that three-fifths (61%) of the public have personally experienced hate in their daily lives over the last year, with racism (42%) being the most prevalent form of hate. Furthermore, 6 in 10 (60%) think more can be done to address the issue of societal hate in the UK.

In response to these findings, EE has launched “Hate. Not In My Shirt”, a campaign that calls on the nation to stand together and challenge hate in football. The integrated campaign celebrates the moments in the sport that make people proud to wear the shirt, whilst highlighting the behaviour not fit for it.

Running throughout the tournament, the campaign will activate across a range of touchpoints including new England and Scotland-focused TV adverts that show how divisive hate can be. Not just during the upcoming tournament but also in stadiums, online or at a grassroots level. The spot underlines the need for unity to ensure football remains a sport for all. 

The advert, set to Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, continues EE’s commitment to represent modern Britain. It will run across commercial television channels during key broadcast slots including tonight’s England game against  Slovenia on ITV1.

In addition, a series of out-of-home adverts and social media spots will feature Home Nations players that relay the ‘Hate. Not In My Shirt’ message and challenge the public to consider what type of fan they are.

The brand has also created an England and a Scotland manifesto that galvanises the Home Nations ahead of the tournament and reminds fans what it means to wear the shirt. In EE’s retail stores, shoppers will be able to join the movement by scanning a QR code to digitally sign the manifestos as a show of their support against hate this summer.

Murals will also be painted across the UK on Duke Street in Glasgow, Bold Street in Liverpool and Club Row in Shoreditch, London, featuring Home Nations players with the message ‘Hate. Not In My Shirt’ painted in a tapestry style to celebrate the positive feelings the iconic jerseys evoke from fans.

While bespoke online lessons for 11-to-17-year-olds on how to be a proud supporter, taught by England and Scotland players will sow the seeds of challenging hate. The lessons include real-life stories from parents and people involved in grassroots football, sharing practical advice on different aspects of hate within the sport. They are hosted on the Proud Supporter Programme, an online hub that features free digital resources and skills videos.

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director, EE, explained: “We are committed to tackling all forms of hate and ensuring football is a sport for all. Through this campaign, we highlight the negative impact bad fandom has, not just on the game itself, but wider communities. We want to educate and excite the nation to be the best fan they can be and inspire everyone to be a positive and proud supporter. That way we can create a safer, more inclusive society for all and combat all forms of hate – online and offline.”

The campaign underlines the power of long-term marketing strategies and builds on EE’s ongoing commitment to tackling all kinds of hate speech.


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