Arsenal Join Paddy Power & Stonewall In Rainbow Laces

Arsenal players front an advert promoting this year’s Rainbow Laces campaign – the equal rights campaign from the unlikely alliance of gay rights organisation Stonewall and bookie Paddy Power that aims shift attitudes towards LGBT people in football.



The ‘Changing Room’ campaign, created by agencies Lucky Generals and M2M, is fronted by several North London club stars – including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud – who appear in a spot that launched on cinema screens on 5 September and then on TV on 6 September.


The activity will build up to the weekend of 13/14 September, when footballers across the country will be encouraged to done rainbow laces on their boots to show support.


This year’s push sees media partner Metro fill an entire paper with all the brands backing the campaign.


Those brands putting their weight and support behind the campaign this year include Premier Inn (which will rebrand to ‘Premier Out’ for the day), HTC, Carphone Warehouse, Sony Playstation, Sega, Relish Broadband, KLM, Heineken, Pepsico, Lastminute.com, Dr Martens, BT Broadband/BT Sport, Starbucks, Fiat and Jersey Tourism.


Paddy Power said: “We love football but it needs a good kick up the ass. In most other areas of life, people can be open about their sexuality and it’s time for football to take a stand and show players it doesn’t matter what team they play for.”


Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, added: “Last year’s Rainbow Laces was a great start but there’s still a long way to go to tackle homophobia both on and off the pitch.


“The clubs and players supporting the campaign and lacing up this weekend are taking a powerful stand against homophobia in our national game.”



This year sees the central campaign focus switch to concentrate on promoting the need for a fundamental change in mind set among football clubs and fans to ensure attitudes improve in the long term.


This campaign follows on from 2013’s ‘Right Behind Gay Footballers’ initiative which generated a mixed degree of support from clubs, football stars and broadcaster BT Sport.


Last year’s Rainbow Laces campaign saw 54 football clubs take part and this year it has the backing of the Premier League, the Gay Football Supporters’ Network and football clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester City.


The 2013 activity prompted more than 500 media stories and 320 million Twitter impressions in the space of a week.


See previous case study.




Rainbow Laces Website



Arsenal Website



Stonewall Website



Paddy Power Website




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