EE: Hope United
In 2022, EE became a HomeNations football sponsor for the first time ever. We needed to make some noise to make the UK public aware of our footy credentials, while also staying true to our purpose as a tech brand committed to making online life safer for us all.
The obvious moment in which to do this was during the UEFA Women’s Euros in July. But without being an official sponsor of the tournament, the challenge was to cut through in a way that punched well above our relatively small media spend.
Globally, women are 27 times more likely to experience online hate than men (UN), and 90% of our England Lionesses have received some form of online abuse (EE).
But women don’t send death threats to themselves. Sexist hate isn’t their problem to solve. It’s men’s.
To cut through in a crowded media market, we assembled EE Hope United –our team of UK football ambassadors –with the goal of tackling the online sexist hate women receive in football and beyond.
A culture-shifting TV ad explored the problems women in football face –with the message that sexist hate should never be one of them. Most powerful was our online hub and social campaign. This included a news desk approach, allowing us to react in real time -where our male players stepped up to give men the digital skills needed to be allies to women in the fight against sexist hate.
Our campaign has been praised for moving the dial on representation of women in sport, driving male allyship and tackling sexist hate –from CityAM, to The Athletic, The Irish Times, Academics, Marketing Press and even feminist icon Laura Bates (founder of The Everyday Sexism project).