Lucky Generals returns with new campaign to make sport more inclusive

Nine years after launching Rainbow Laces to make sport more inclusive, Lucky Generals returns

By Creative Salon

The number of fans who think homophobic remarks within sport are acceptable has almost halved in the past five years, new research from Stonewall and ICM/Walnut has revealed, with a drop from 25 percent in 2017 to 14 percent in 2022.

But 31 years since Justin Fashanu came out as the first gay male professional footballer, Blackpool’s Jake Daniels remains the only player comfortable enough to come out in the current game.

And other statistics from the research reveal that just 40 percent of sports fans think competitive sport is welcoming for gay and bi men, with the figure at 43 per cent for lesbian and bi women, and just 29 per cent for trans people.

So to step up its campaigning and shed more light on this issue in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar — and the host nation’s well-documented persecution of LGBTQI+ people — Stonewall has reunited with Lucky Generals to create a campaign aimed at reminding people that while Rainbow Laces continues to change the game, we haven’t won it yet.

Called “Lace up to keep it up” the new work features a number of executions using clever plays on classic football idioms and phrases to drive the point home. These include “Let’s boot the homophobes off the park”, “Let’s give homophobia a career-ending tackle” and “Let’s send homophobia for an early bath”.

The creative went live on Wednesday, October 26 via Stonewall’s social channels.

Lucky Generals helped create the original Rainbow Laces Campaign in 2013 alongside Irish betting giants Paddy Power. The initiative was developed as a way for Stonewall to drive awareness for its mission of changing attitudes towards LGBTQI+ people in sports. 2023 marks not only year 10 of Rainbow Laces but also the 10th anniversary for Lucky Generals, with purpose at their core it’s a fantastic time for them to unite on this particular mission.

Robbie de Santos, the Director of Communications and External Affairs at Stonewall says: “We’ve made incredible strides with the Stonewall Rainbow Laces in the UK since Paddy Power and Lucky Generals created the campaign in 2013. With the eyes of the world turning to the Men’s Football World Cup in Qatar and hate crime against LGBTQ+ people in the UK rising at a rapid pace, the time is right to remind people that while we’ve made amazing progress, we can’t be complacent. We still need to lace up again and show our support. Going back to Lucky Generals, where it all started, was the perfect way to get this message out.”

Chloe Davies, Head of Social Impact at Lucky Generals said: “Rainbow Laces was a game-changer, not only for Stonewall but to the many LGBTQI+ folk around the globe this initiative has helped to feel safe, seen and supported within sports. It's brilliant to be able to pick up the mantle, refresh the messaging and continue the great work started so many years ago.”


Creative agency: Lucky Generals

Client: Stonewall


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