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Come out and play

Industry: Media & Publishing
Style: Minimalism
Write a short summary of what happens in the digital or ambient execution or campaign.

There’s never been an openly gay or bisexual male footballer in England’s Premier League. It’s not that they’re not out there, they just feel they’ll be rejected by teammates and fans if they we're to do so. In turn, that deprives a whole generation of LGBTQ footballers of important role models in the world’s most popular sport. To highlight this problem and encourage gay players to come out and create a more open league, Paddy Power created the Official Bus for Gay Professional Footballers. As sponsors of the Brighton Pride Festival, we entered our bus in the parade and while the other floats teemed with people, ours stood empty as a symbol for change. An activation that proved to the pros and the world that fans are ready for a footballer to “come out and play”.

Cultural/Context information for the jury

In the UK, 1 in 5 people are openly LGBTQ. Which makes the fact that there’s no openly gay players in the Premiere League all the more disheartening. We knew we needed to tackle this issue in a way that would not only resonate with football fans and the LGBTQ community, but with the player’s themselves. Through our bus, and some cleverly crafted football metaphors, we were able to do so, gaining major coverage in both the mainstream media and sport and LGBTQ publications (TV, print, online and radio).

Brighton and Hove Pride is the UK's biggest pride event with over 500,000 people taking to the streets for the festival and parade.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Bronze Outdoor
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