For years, the U.S. Women’s National Team had been a source of inspiration to young girls. But in 2015, Stone Ward worked closely with U.S. Soccer to create a strategy and marketing campaign that was built around female empowerment. That campaign, named SheBelieves, is now seven years old and has grown into a movement and is built around a platform of female empowerment initiatives led by U.S. Soccer.
At the beginning, while Stone Ward had no idea of the potential longevity nor the long-term impact of this idea, we knew that it was very different than the majority of sports campaigns – getting people to watch games. This campaign had a much bigger goal, motivating young girls to pursue their dreams. Stone Ward collaborated with client U.S. Soccer to craft the strategy, a memorable theme and logo, and an activation plan worthy of this objective.
Stone Ward researched the way young women are used to receiving messages and created a campaign modeled after a young adult magazine cover aesthetic. Instead of frivolous headline about one’s looks or a new trend, this cover included bold messages of empowerment; ‘inspire confidence’, ‘aspire to greatness’, and ‘pursue your passions’. The campaign features a rotation of players of from all different backgrounds, geographies, and ethnicities as a nod to the diversity of the team and the fanbase who find inspiration in them.
The SheBelieves platform now reaches 100 million fans around the world. It has attracted marquee sponsors like Coca Cola and Deloitte and even got the interest of President Obama. It remains one of the largest women-focused platforms ever and creates millions of impressions throughout its marquee event, the She Believes Cup, a 4-team tournament played in the USA featuring the USWNT and three other nations. The tournament has gained record international broadcast distribution, including 27 countries outside of the United States. Another key part of the platform is the SheBelieves Summit, a two-day event with a vision of empowering the next generation. The 2022 event for female college students sold out in 9 days, had 254 attendees, 1.2 million views, and a 5,522% increase in live viewers per broadcast minute.