What was the project?
The betting company Paddy Power teamed up with the charity Stonewall to help tackle one of the biggest taboos in sport: homophobia in football.
What did they do?
Paddy Power decided to combine the betting brand’s cheeky image with Stonewall’s credibility to get people talking about this sporting taboo.
They sent out rainbow-coloured bootlaces to professional clubs around the country and asked players to wear them in support of gay footballers. Players from 54 professional clubs, including Arsenal and Newcastle, took part. The company also developed the deliberately provocative strapline "Right behind gay footballers" for the campaign. This was followed by an advertising, PR, digital and social media campaign that cost £150,000.
Why did it win?
It was a big success. The public demand for the laces was so high that Paddy Power had to order 10,000 more. The Rainbow Lace campaign soon took off in other sports, and leading politicians, pop stars and actors took part. In just seven days, it generated 400 media stories, with a reach of 500 million readers.
What did the judges say?
Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E Advisory Services, said: "It was a bold and ambitious insight-led campaign that engaged effectively with its audience."
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