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Sports Direct delivers Euros love

Sports Direct Launches new creative campaign smashing stereotypes for Women’s Euros.

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament kicked off this week to an audience of over 4 million viewers in the UK. The myth that women don’t like football is not only outdated, it's well and truly been busted. To coincide with the tournament and smash stereotypes around women’s sport, Sports Direct has launched its new ‘Girls Don’t Like Football, We Love It’ campaign, excelling the brand’s mission to make sport equal for all. 

The campaign has launched with an energetic film playing on the outdated notion that ‘Girls Don’t Like Football’. The film is filled with women up and down the country demonstrating and celebrating the passion that they all share for sport. 

The film sparks an emotive reaction from both men and women everywhere, showing that sport is something everybody can connect over and proving football should be an inclusive sport. The campaign aims to show that in spite of all barriers, there is a rising tide of women who absolutely love the game and invites the next generation of women to see that football is an option for them.

The campaign aims to harness the energy of Euro 22 to drive the visibility of players, coaches and women in football to unleash a new generation of female ballers, with the number of women and girls playing football rising 54% to over 3.4m.

The wider campaign features real faces from the football community, including those from Forest Green Rovers and Kingsley FC as well as England’s first ever Lionesses from 1971 as well as the players today inspiring future generations: Stina Blackstenius, Millie Bright, Jess Carter, Lauren Hemp, Sam Kerr, Ellen White, Alessia Russo, Nikita Parris and Georgia Stanway. 

“Back in the day, only little boys were allowed to dream of being ballers. In modern Britain, it’s the dream of young girls too. As we have seen, the cycle of momentum around the women’s game is driven by international tournaments, and in the past couple of years every aspect of the game has hit the accelerator. We wanted to create a campaign that used this tournament as a catalyst for a new era of women’s football in the UK.” explained Beckie Stanion, Chief Marketing Officer Sports Direct.

To create the campaign Sports Direct worked with Copa90 and commissioned in-depth interviews with fans, grassroots teams, elite players and managers to evaluate the women’s football landscape from the bottom up. The research identified a unifying truth that superstar players are not just playing for a trophy, they are playing for the legacy of the game. 

It was also evident that there was an insatiable passion for the women’s game that mainstream culture has yet to recognise or celebrate, and it was this insight that helped to form the core creative of the campaign. 

“What flowed naturally from the brief was a campaign that addressed this archaic misconception that ‘girls don’t like football’, playfully countering it. Consumers are first met with the tension of this idea which is then flipped on its head, done with a zealous rebuttal in the form of a celebration of the game that delivers a punchline of real truth” added Gavin Rowe, Chief Creative Officer at Copa90.

Where stereotypes have long been used in marketing and advertising in a damaging way, representation matters. Campaigns like this not only challenge stereotypes by subverting expectations but are working toward a more inclusive future of sport, inspiring the next generation of Leah Williamsons and Lucy Bronzes to get out and play.

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Sport Representation Women