Celebrating unity, “The Game Is Not Over” shines a light on Australia and New Zealand’s premier LGBTIQA+ sporting club, the Queer Sporting Alliance (QSA).
Since 2021, Champion has been the major sponsor of QSA, delivering ongoing funding and uniforms for clubs nationwide. As part of the brand’s customisation offering in-store, a series of colourful Pride patches will also be available with one hundred per cent of profits going directly to QSA. The opportunity to donate to the organisation is also available to all Champion shoppers online or in-store
‘The Game is Not Over’ was produced collaboratively by female owned and led production agency Marjella and B-Corporation certified creative agency TABOO, with TABOO leading the creative direction.
“This is a great opportunity to assist in making positive change. Being part of the queer community, initiatives like this hit close to home. We still have a lot left to do but this work from Champion is a great step in the right direction,” said Melba Gounas, creative director at TABOO.
Marjella was commissioned given its shared vision for a future of film and TV that is inclusive, authentic, and empowering, where both creatives and audience see realistic reflections of their own unique realities.
To showcase the core-essence of ‘The Game is Not Over’, Champion and TABOO partnered with internationally renowned LGBTIQA+ activist and director, James J. Robinson, to help curate a powerful short film and stills. The campaign seeks to celebrate the progress that society has made, whilst highlighting that we still have work to do to ensure the inclusion and safety of the LGBTIQA+ community particularly in areas like sports and play.
A nod to Champion’s sports heritage, the campaign is set in a 90s inspired locker room. The setting is positioned as a cultural reference point, conjuring half-time in Robinson’s signature realism aesthetic. The queer cast, including QSA member Sam Cremean (they/he) and dancer Amrita Hepi (she/her), addresses the viewer to “do it for those who can’t, those who are gone, and those without a voice”, inviting them to continue championing queer liberation, fighting for LGBTIQA+ rights, and solidarity with people of all sexualities and identities.
“I’ve been interested in unpacking the concept of the locker room ever since Donald Trump made his comments (about women) and defined them as ‘locker room talk’. It made me think about what locker room talk is, and this microcosm of masculinity exists in a bubble that can’t be pierced by outsiders.
“We can reclaim the locker space with people from the community whose very existence is almost radical against the concept of ‘locker room talk’ in the way that Trump described it,” said James J. Robinson.
“Celebrating diversity, solidarity, identity, and advocacy are key pillars of Champion and we have a long-standing commitment to support the LGBTIQA+ community including our on-going partnership with the Queer Sporting Alliance,” said Sheleen Jegasothy (she/her), marketing manager, Champion Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re honoured to work with the community both in-front and behind the camera to present our latest Pride campaign, ‘The Game is Not Over’, as an important message and part of our ongoing commitment towards creating a more inclusive world.” she said.
To further amplify the campaign and add value back to the community, Champion worked with PR agency tide.pr to facilitate a public relations and influencer marketing approach. In collaboration with tide.pr, Champion and QSA will host a Ba-skate-ball Jam on 23 February 2023 to celebrate WorldPride’s Australian debut in Sydney this summer.
Taking over the KGV Recreation Centre, festivities will kick off at 6:30pm with an exhibition basketball match between QSA teams and an exciting line-up of special guests, followed by a groovy roller disco. The event will hero QSA’s mission to create a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ folk to come out and play and will feature ambassadors and allies Briohny and WNBL player Marena Whittle.
This follows the first inaugural NBL Champion Pride Round, which aimed to promote greater diversity and inclusion in basketball, where all players were invited to wear jerseys featuring Champion’s Pride Progress C Logo and participate in LGBTQIA+ awareness training.
“As QSA continues to grow, we have learnt how important we are in improving the lives and wellbeing of some of the most marginalised people in our community. While there is a lot to celebrate and be proud of, we know that the game is not over. Champion’s new Pride campaign recognises that there is so much more to be done at all levels of sport for it to truly be a space free from discrimination.
“QSA is proud to continue this journey of advocacy and support to the LGBTIQA+ community with our friends at Champion,” said Stella Lesic (they/them), QSA president & founder.
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