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The Power of Alternative Role Models in Sport



In the last decade, major brands have developed campaigns aiming to empower young female athletes to pursue their dreams in their relative sports. During Rio 2016, the two star-studded athletes to come out of the Olympics were sprinter Usain Bolt and American gymnast Simone Biles. To have one of the biggest names of the entire Olympics to be not only female, but a teenager, widened the eyes of many adults and young athletes alike. But how can brands look towards less popular sports, and bring those female athletes to light, to show that females can excel at any sport they choose? Well, you just have to look.


Cosmetic brand Avon became Liverpool Ladies FC’s first solo shirt sponsor of a professional women’s team. Avon teamed up with Liverpool Ladies to create the ‘I Can Be’ campaign, designed to defy stereotypes on and off the pitch. While sponsorship in women’s professional sports is relatively untouched, the partnership between Avon and Liverpool Ladies paves the way for brands to start tapping into a new market. This also gives way for more female-focused brands to create positive social impact and educate their communities on the potential that females have in the sports world.


Begum on its #WomenWhoCan campaign. The champion kick boxer has encountered a lot of adversity throughout her life – from being a Muslim woman who faced resistance from her family to actually participate in the sport, and suffering from ME, a medical condition with no known cause, resulting in fever, prolonged tiredness, and depression.


In its campaign, Karen Millen’s desire to initiate conversation about surviving in the world of sports as a woman in the modern world would encourage other young female athletes that they can do the same.


International Women’s Day is about celebrating strong and resilient females who have paved the way for future generations of girls to chase their dreams. Many brands have decided to put in extra effort for this day to show their support for this cause. But why only create these campaigns on this day, and not on any others?











For the best ads we saw on IWD: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/collection/top_international_womens_day_ads


Written by: Shawn Chang

Edited by: Priscilla Greggio

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