THE ENGLISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
BANISHING THE STEREOTYPE OF THE FEMALE FOOTBALL FAN
We'd previously helped Coca-Cola launch their sponsorship of the League Cup with a softly-softly approach that showed big brands could be sensitive to the terrace fan by simply redesigning every coke can in the colours and stripes of participating teams.
The result? Football fans actually screen printed their own tee-shirts with the images of the customised coke cans giving us the sort of terrace acceptance every big sponsor craves.
We then pitched and won the Football Association account itself and the first brief was to widen the appeal of attending games in anticipation of Euro96.
With limited media budget, we knew we needed a big PR push to extend our reach. So we created a campaign intentionally designed to provoke debate: for the first time ever, female football fans were targeted with ads that didn't patronise them but acknowledged their equal knowledge and passion for the game - not just the rippling muscles on display.
The work appeared in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Elle and Marie Claire. It generated a phenomenal amount of press coverage and contributed to a general shift in the way women were treated at football matches.
Our next challenge was a print campaign to make people not only respect referees but encourage them to apply to become one.
For this we focussed on the good that referees do – not just punishing the guilty but protecting the innocent, allowing flair players to flourish.