The FA’s Respect team tasked us with one of our toughest briefs to date: stop people using bad language and dissent at grassroots level. Our route to tackling this engrained social issue was to focus on the future of the game and the impact this behaviour was having on small clubs’ finances and the next generation of young players.
The NLS is made up of smaller leagues and clubs with a keen sense of their own identity and pride in their heritage. Running a football club in the NLS and sustaining a squad, a home ground, and the travel requirements of fixtures means that finances are generally tight, with many clubs living hand to mouth. For this reason, spectator attendance, locally derived sponsorship revenue and funding is an important revenue stream for clubs.
By laying out the current situation and the possibilities from turning around this negative pattern, the campaign offered an alternative view to previous awareness campaigns that had failed to have a real impact.
Best Brand Campaign nominationDesign Week
A short animated video was created to tell the two sides of the story – before and after a change in attitude at club level. A range of customisable resources were then produced to complement the video, allowing small clubs up and down the country to customise and share the core campaign messages with both staff and spectators.
The limited colour palette and retro styling for the campaign helped us to ensure that both young and older volunteers could relate to the content, with retro football fashion seeing the height of its popularity at the time of the campaign’s release.