M&S exploits popularity of Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign in renewed push

Following a ‘truly incredible’ response to its ‘This Girl Can’ campaign to encourage women to participate in sport, Sport England is pushing the campaign further as it teams up with upmarket retailer M&S for an exclusive range of t-shirts and launches a new app to encourage women to post viral sporting videos.

The limited edition line of t-shirts – which are on sale from today (4 June) – will be priced at £12.50. Every £1 from a t-shirt sale will be donated to Sport England to help it fund projects to get women active.

Sport England has also announced the creation of a ‘This Girl Can’ web app, which will encourage women to create and share their own personalised versions of the campaign’s 90 second advert.

Users who upload captioned sporty pictures and videos to the website will then potentially be selected to feature in a future digital campaign, with Sport England launching digital billboards featuring the best viral images at the end of June.

Sport England is also launching new versions of its ‘Girls that can’ billboard posters to include summer activities such as ravercise and rounders reflecting women of all shapes, sizes and sporting abilities.

Reflecting on the campaign’s success since its launch in January, Jennie Price, chief executive for Sport England, said it had generated over 250,00 social media interactions and developed a social media community of nearly 300,000 users.

“The response to This Girl Can has been truly incredible and when we developed the campaign, we focussed on the fear of judgement and this has resonated with women across the world,” said Price.

The popular original 90 second ad is set to return to TV screens this Friday (June 5) to mark the M&S partnership, new app and billboard designs.

Price added: “I have been overwhelmed by how many women have wanted to be part of the campaign, to share it, celebrate it, and own it for themselves. We now have a new web app means women can create their own This Girl Can ads and our partnership with Marks and Spencer means that women can literally wear the campaign with pride.”

Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will align itself with Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ for its own push to encourage women to cricket through the launch of a new website and strategy.

Sport England, which is the brand name for the English Sports Council, launched This Girl Can back in January to combat the divide between men and women taking part in sporting activities. Although the UK is third out of 27 European countries when it comes to men participating in sport, for women it is only 19th.

Speaking to Marketing Week back in March, Tanya Joseph, director of the campaign for Sport England said: “We needed to do something radical and disruptive as most female sport advertising is incredibly stylised and airbrushed.”

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