JD Sports, YourGamePlan and Goodstuff launch UK-wide creative competition: The Pitch

The competition challenges students aged 14-19 to devise media and creative concepts for next year’s JD 2024 Christmas campaign

By Creative Salon

YourGamePlan, a profit for purpose organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between education and independence, and media agency Goodstuff are thrilled to announce the launch of The Pitch, an innovative competition aimed at increasing accessibility into advertising careers for young people.

This groundbreaking initiative not only fosters creativity and innovation among young minds but also actively addresses the barriers to entry in the creative and media industry. By offering real-world experiences, mentorship, and work placement opportunities, The Pitch is set to empower the next generation of advertising professionals and pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.

The UK-wide competition challenges students to devise a media and creative concept for next year's JD 2024 Christmas campaign. This collaboration creates a pathway for tomorrow's talent by offering young minds the opportunity to delve into the world of advertising and gain first-hand experience into creating captivating brand assets.

The winning team will be invited to join the JD marketing team at their offices, where they’ll learn how to create standout campaigns for the global brand. From capturing social content to going behind the scenes at a photography shoot, the winners will get the opportunity to learn first-hand how one of the biggest brands creates 360 campaigns. What’s more, each winner will receive a £100 JD voucher to splash out on a new ‘fit or the latest pair of kicks.

Media agency Goodstuff joined forces with YourGamePlan to bring this initiative to life because they believe it is the responsibility of the advertising industry to make it more accessible. They will be using their media smarts to galvanise the industry to support this important initiative and have secured £300k of media value to promote The Pitch with disruptive adverts that prompt the audience to think “ever wondered who’s behind the ads you see?”.

Media value has been generously donated by JD, Meta, Clear Channel, JCDecuax, Pearl & Dean and Channel 4. All of whom are dedicated to supporting the initiative and have committed to taking students on for work placements. The Pitch is also endorsed and supported by The Advertising Association, the trade association representing advertisers, agencies, media and research services in the UK advertising industry.

As well as offering a prize to the winning team they are dedicated to offering up to 100 work placements to those who have entered the competition. In a partnership between YourGamePlan, Goodstuff and D&AD they will encourage the advertising industry to join them and commit to taking work placements. They will vary from paid internships to work experience.

Danny Heath, the Founder of YourGamePlan, expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative. He said: “As the founder of YourGamePlan, I'm passionately dedicated to forging pathways for young talents, seamlessly connecting education to independence. We are on a mission to break down entry barriers and offer equal opportunities for everyone interested in the world of advertising. And we believe through The Pitch we can do just that.”

“The launch of The Pitch is a pivotal step, offering 14-19-year-olds a stage to unveil their creativity. This collaboration breaks barriers and eliminates nepotism from work placements, ensuring every mind has a chance to shine. My sincere thanks to everyone involved for their unwavering support. Together, we are shaping a future where advertising knows no bounds and is accessible to all."

Andrew Stephens, Co-Founder of Goodstuff said: “As someone who grew up in the Somerset state school system and with no links to the advertising industry, I feel very lucky to have stumbled into a job I am immensely passionate about. For many years we’ve been working on a credible and authentic campaign to highlight the wonders of our industry and now, with the support of YourGamePlan and our partners, we are super proud to launch The Pitch to hundreds of thousands of students across the country to give them the opportunity to experience our industry and get their name up in lights. This is just the start and I hope other companies join us in ensuring our industry tackles diversity at the source and create a better future for everyone.”

Chris Waters, UK & EU Retail Marketing Director at JD said “We’re excited to be working alongside Goodstuff and YourGamePlan to provide mentorship and access for young people looking to get into the advertising industry. ‘The Pitch’ is a great opportunity for applicants to experience first-hand the work that goes into creating marketing campaigns for a global brand, and we’re looking forward to taking the students through the process this Spring.”

Alessandra Bellini, The Advertising Association President said “The Pitch is a fantastic initiative and totally aligns with our industry’s strategy to inspire more young people to think about advertising as an exciting and dynamic career, full of opportunities for talent with a wide range of skills.”

More Detail on The Pitch

Competition setup:

● Students can enter in teams of up to 4.

● Lesson plans and explainer documents will be readily available for download, catering to teachers, parents, and students.

● Entries consist of 1-3 creative assets, a media plan, and a concept rationale.

● The competition involves a two-stage process: public vote and judge's selections, and pitch day.

● The top 25 teams, selected through the process, will advance to the final.

● The final event will be hosted at Meta's head office.

● Entries open on March 1st and close April 17th.

Final event highlights:

● All 25 teams will pitch their creative concepts to a panel of esteemed industry experts from Goodstuff, JD, Meta and more.

● Students will also be given workshops on the day to further their knowledge of the advertising industry and offer valuable skills to contestants.

Commitment to the future:

● YourGamePlan and Goodstuff are dedicated to providing the top 100 finalists with work placement offers.

● Work placement offers have already been secured from industry leaders such as Meta, Channel 4, JC Decaux, Clear Channel, JD, and Goodstuff.

How media partners are supporting:

● JD are disrupting a selection of their “Only at JD” ads across the month of March to prompt the audience to think “ever wondered who’s behind the ads you see?”. The work will run across OOH, paid social and broadcast.

● JC Decaux, Clear Channel, Meta & Channel 4 have all donated inventory to run the disruptive “Only at JD” ads.

● Pearl & Dean have created a bespoke ad to advertise The Pitch with credits of the creative, media and media owner teams, much like you see at the end of the movie. Again prompting the audience to question who creates and places the ads you see.

● The media campaign surrounding The Pitch has been spearheaded by media agency Goodstuff who have galvanised the industry to support this initiative and have secured £300k of free media value.

● Supported by D&AD they will be calling on the wider advertising industry to support The Pitch by committing to offering work placements for 100 students from the competition

For more information about The Pitch, please visit


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