2013: Rainbow Laces kicks off Stonewall's sports campaign
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2013: Rainbow Laces kicks off Stonewall's sports campaign

Proving that you can run a campaign on a shoelace, Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces has become a global movement in its own right.

Since it was launched in 2013, Rainbow Laces has grown phenomenally and is no longer just a fixture of the football calendar. It’s been adopted by everyone from women’s basketball to wheelchair rugby and swimming.

In 2018 it won Campaign of the Year at the BT Sports Industry awards, where it was praised for its creativity, execution and strategy.

The campaign encourages officials, broadcasters and players at elite and grassroots level to show their support for LGBT equality and make sport everyone’s game.

But it does more than just this. It’s about wholesale transformation, symbolising the potential for sport to create change.

Stonewall has turned a pair of laces into grassroots social action, enabling a generation of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people and their allies to create inclusive pitches and sports fields.

The campaign is supported by TeamPride – adidas, Aon, asos, Aviva, Barclays, eBay, Manchester United, Premier League, Sky Sports and Visa.

TeamPride help make the campaign possible by providing not only funding but also by investing expertise and strategic guidance, engaging their contacts in sports institutions and by creating a team of supporters through their staff and customer networks.

With their help, Rainbow Laces has become a fixture in the sporting calendar.

Twelve million adults saw the campaign in 2017, leading to the number of people aged 18-24 who thought homophobic language was acceptable, dropping from 23 per cent to 15 per cent.

The global reach of the Premier League has put the campaign in front over one billion people in 200 territories worldwide, supporting our wider international campaigns.

We have made incredible progress toward LGBT equality over the last 30 years, but the fight is far from over.