Hackney Women's FC

Helping Europe's first openly gay women’s football team find their voice, with the help of Sky Sports, BBC and ITV news.

Playing with Pride since 1986

Founded in 1986, Hackney Women’s FC became the first openly gay women’s football team in Europe, creating a safe space for all women with a passion for football to simply be themselves.


For 37 years Hackney Women’s FC (HWFC) have carved out a safe space for all women to be their authentic selves on the football pitch. But their current brand, comms and creative didn’t reflect who they truly were. They wanted a brand to be proud of and some help to professionalise their offering and appeal to sponsors.


As a self-financing club, HWFC relied on member fees to be able to exist. An increased apprehension from non-binary girls and women, who wanted to play but felt put off by the pervasive homophobia in football, meant that sign-ups were at an all-time low. Indeed, media reports at the same suggested that abuse directed at gay football fans and players was more pervasive that racist abuse.

So as trailblazers in creating a community for those without one, we wanted to help HWFC reclaim their purpose and identity.

the fearless solution

Working closely with HWFC, we invested time and money in the club to supply a new brand and kit FOC for the season. The kit represented the club's unique identity as well as the vibrancy, fun and individuality within the team.

We timed our kit launch carefully to coincide with LGBTQIA+ History Month and Football Against Homophobia Action Month. Two hugely significant moments on the community’s calendar.  We gained national interest (with stories running across BBC News, ITV News, Sky Sports and more), whilst LGBTQIA+ and football communities united on social to support these pioneers, the club and the cause.

We garnered national support for the club and its mission and then gave everyone a new way to manifest their support by making the new kit available to purchase through a new e-commerce platform.

HWFC’s kit reclaimed the black triangle, originating from the insidious fascist era, a badge forced upon lesbians to mark them out and has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a sign of pride. It's now a powerful symbol, inspiring, motivating and galvanising this fearless lesbian community which is the essence of the club, on and off the pitch.

According to the YouGov research, the campaign generated 500M readership of free media coverage and affinity towards the club grew, with 67% of those exposed to the campaign saying they would support HWFC and their initiatives (up from 25% pre-campaign). Additionally, 87% would recommend HWFC (versus 16%) and there was a 12% increase in confidence in LGBTQIA+ community after campaign contact.

And on a tangible level for the club, player count also grew by 18% as did the positive sentiment of existing members, who felt they had received a much needed motivation boost.


The Results


Free media coverage readership


Player growth

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