Telecoms brand and ‘home nations’ football association partner EE has selected another Hope United squad to tackle online sexist hate with a new campaign launched to leverage spiking interest in women’s football centred around UEFA Euro 2022.
The BT-owned mobile telco brand launched the initiative to leverage its partnerships with the four UK ‘home nations’ – particularly its tie-ups with England Football (spearheaded by its sponsorship of The FA’s own Wembley Stadium) and Northern Ireland who are competing in the tournament – the campaign was created with agency Saatchi & Saatchi and highlights the positive impact everyone (particularly men) can have by becoming allies to women during the Euros this summer and encouraging them to own and challenge the problem of sexist abuse when they see it online and elsewhere.
The Hope United team feature in multiplatform content deployed across the UK seeking to teach the nation the digital skills they need to combat sexist hate online ahead of the summer’s UEFA Women’s Euros.
— EE (@EE) July 4, 2022
The integrated campaign featured a line-up of Lionesses stars Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Lauren James and Ellen White, plus internationals from the other ‘home nations’ such as Caroline Weir, Natasha Harding and Marissa Callaghan, as well as men’s internationals (like Andy Robertson, Aaron Ramsdale, Dan James, Declan Rice, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Michail Antonio, plus para-footballers Rebecca Sellar, Jamal Lewis and Charlie Fogarty, as well as ‘coaches’ Rio Ferdinand and Rachel Brown-Finnis.
This year’s Hope United squad is managed by England men’s team manager Gareth Southgate who delivered a personal, emotional appeal to men across the UK, asking them to stand together in supporting women this summer and beyond, and encouraging them to become upstanders as opposed to bystanders.
At the core of the project was a video content series sharing digital skills plus a set of free online resources that will educate on how to challenge and report online hate against women. The topics covered included how to block accounts, report online hate, mute and filter offensive content and how to diversify your social media feed by following more female voices.
The cause campaign was spearheaded by a film called ‘Not Her Problem’ which dropped on 3 July and was backed by a behind-the-scenes video, as wel as by digital, social and outdoor executions seeking to drive home campaign messages and drive viewers online to find out more about the project at http//ee.co.uk/hopeunited.
— EE (@EE) July 6, 2022
— Jamal Lewis (@Jamal_lewis1) July 4, 2022
Sexist hate should not be my, or any woman’s problem.
Let’s make sexist hate #NotHerProblem
— Lucy Bronze (@LucyBronze) July 4, 2022
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) July 4, 2022
EE also partnered with HateLab, a global hub for data and insight into hate speech and crime, to provide each player with their own personalised Hope United shirt.
Using behavioural data, which scrapes information from each player’s social media account, the shirts show a visual representation of how people are talking about them online, translating emotions associated with hope (such as love, empathy or inspiration) and hate (for example, racial or gender discrimination) into a visual colour and style, creating a unique design for each squad member.
The shirts are also available to purchase at https://shop.bt.com/eehopeunited22 with all proceeds going to anti cyberbullying non-profit organisation Cybersmile.
In order to do my part to stand against inequality i have ordered an @EE Hope United shirt. This goes towards a good cause so lets fight inequality together. Lets make sexism #NotHerProblem #HopeUnited pic.twitter.com/s1qvXms6Tb
— David (@david12mann) July 4, 2022
(cont) And with the new EE #HopeUnited shirt, we're able to a very important story as each shirt is unique to the hate and hope the player has received online. See how we did it #HopeBeatsHate Go to https://t.co/gDfT9ImYqc pic.twitter.com/3yDJlreFqZ
— Mat Sears (@matsears) July 4, 2022
“While the majority will be rightly giving their support to the athletes competing in the Women’s Euros this summer, there will be the vocal minority trying to denounce and discredit the women’s game,” said EE CEO Marc Allera. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative we come together to champion hope over hate, placing the onus on men to own the problem: this is why EE Hope United will continue to help shape a safer online world, giving others the confidence and knowhow to help call out and put a stop to online sexist hate.”
Hope United squad member and England Lioness Lucy Bronze added: “As women footballers, the sad truth is that we now expect sexist abuse on a near daily basis: it has not only become an inescapable part of the game, but of a woman’s life in the public eye. But it shouldn’t be this way. This is why we are asking men to be allies of women this summer and help stamp out sexism online. It’s great to see so many from the men’s game join the squad: it gives me confidence that we can make a difference.”
Gareth Southgate commented: “The simple fact is that men can do better. Sexism and misogyny are deplorable in any space and EE’s Hope United will make men aware that they are uniquely positioned to help bring it to an end: not only by monitoring their own behaviour but that of others and, when possible, calling it out and putting a stop to it.”
The July 2022 initiative followed on from a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by EE, revealed that 52% of the UK public don’t feel the internet is a safe space for women, and 60% of the UK believe that not enough is being done to tackle online and offline misogyny. Furthermore, nearly half (46%) of people who have seen or experienced online sexism didn’t do anything about it, while 63% of UK males feel men are more responsible than women for misogynistic behaviour online, compared to 70% of women.
The ‘Women’s EUROs Online Misogyny Report 2022; was researched via a sample size of 4417 UK adults and conducted between 4 and 6 April 2022 by YouGov on behalf of Saatchi & Saatchi.
It also picked up from where the previous, inaugural EE Hope United work left off back in 2021 which leveraged the men’s UEFA European Championships.
Hope United aims to tackle all forms of online hate though support for change and educating the nation on how to protect themselves online and be good digital citizens.
Hope United is part of BT’s umbrella ‘Skills for Tomorrow’s ambitious target to reach 25 million people with the skills they need to make the most of life in the digital world by 2025 and sits under BT’s ‘Connect for Good’ mission to help more people across the UK have the skills they need to stay connected and tackle the digital divide.
As lead partner of the four home nation football associations, EE is committed to providing new opportunities to promote digital and skills initiatives while encouraging a new generation of girls and women to participate in football.