Who: GE Appliances Canada, with FCB for strategy and creative; Jungle Media for media; and Craft Public Relations for PR.
What: “On the Line,” a campaign to rally support for women’s soccer in Canada. According to GE, it is designed to serve as a “sobering reminder” of the challenges faced by women soccer players, while providing a “hopeful look ahead” at the bright future possible with increased funding and support.
When & Where: The campaign launched this week, running across traditional broadcast ahead of Canada’s Olympic qualifying matches this fall, as well as digital (including a dedicated microsite at WhatsOnTheLine.ca). There is also an installation at the CNE until Sept. 4, followed by Vancouver later this year.
Why: GE prides itself as a “fierce supporter” of soccer in Canada, thanks to its sponsorship of Canada Soccer and the country’s three MLS teams (Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and CF Montreal).
It has made growing the women’s game one of the centrepieces of its sponsorship, including an incremental $100,000 donation made in advance of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the launch of the “See Them, Be Them Initiative,” offering young players a one-on-one mentorship experience with women’s team midfielder Quinn.
But women players in Canada face an uphill battle to play the game they love, forced to contend with low pay and low support. In February, the women’s national team announced a job action against Canada Soccer to protest the “significant cuts” made to the national program, saying their future success was being compromised by the organization’s “continued inability to support its national teams.”
This campaign comes after the Canadian National Women’s team, gold medalists at the Tokyo Games just two years ago, failed to advance beyond the group stage at this month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
How: The campaign video features people standing on a soccer pitch describing a series of “one day” scenarios for women in the sport, such as not having to work two jobs; not having to be players on the field and activists off it; and more sponsors competing to join their roster.
All of the creative drives to the WhatsOnTheLine.ca website, where people are invited to create their own “one day” hope for women’s soccer. Some of those sentiments are being shared on a “digital clothesline” on the site, while a physical display featuring shirts bearing the messages will be on display in Toronto and Vancouver.
And we quote: “We’re at a pivotal moment for women’s soccer in Canada. The opportunity to grow the game has never been greater. But the time for us all to show up, for our sport and its players, is now. All of these ‘one day’ moments make very clear what’s on the line, and it’s in all of our hands. We want to encourage all Canadians—sponsors, players and fans—to get off the bench and support building the future for this incredible sport.” — Bob Park, chief brand officer, GE Appliances Canada