Sports Direct launches new creative campaign for Women’s EUROs

Sports Direct has launched “Girls Don’t Like Football, WE LOVE IT”, a new multi-million pound creative campaign that will sit across TV, OOH, in-store, content, media and influencers.

Continuing the brand’s mission to make sport equal for all, the campaign aims to harness the energy of EURO 22 to drive the visibility of players, coaches and women in football and unleash a new generation of female ballers, with the number of women and girls playing football rising 54% to over 3.4m.

At the forefront of the campaign is a new TV commercial, which subverts the fallacy that ‘Girls Don’t Like Football’, demonstrating and celebrating the passion women in this country have for the beautiful game. The content intends to spark an emotive reaction from men and women everywhere, re-establishing football as an inclusive sport for everybody. It shows 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 commercial and wider campaign assets feature 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 and the players today leading the charge for future generations: Stina Blackstenius, Millie Bright, Jess Carter, Lauren Hemp, Sam Kerr, Ellen White, Alessia Russo, Nikita Parris and Georgia Stanway.

Sports Direct worked with COPA90 to create the campaign, commissioning in-depth interviews with fans, grassroots teams, elite players and managers alike to evaluate the women’s football landscape from the bottom up. This 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.

Beckie Stanion, Chief Marketing Officer Sports Direct, said: “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.”

“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” said Gavin Rowe, Chief Creative Officer at COPA90.

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