Homophobia remains a significant issue in team sports, especially for young players. LGBTQ+ youth don’t have many professionals to look up to. And for young LGBTQ+ hockey players, the lack of “out” role models means they don’t see themselves represented.
To create a positive, inclusive and future focused campaign centred around increasing LGBTQ+ visibility.
Create a campaign centred around a simple roll of rainbow tape — one that has the potential to become a powerful badge of support from the hockey world to young gay players. We needed it to have the potential to be spread on a large scale because a short-term awareness campaign could never do these issues justice.
It had to reach people from both the hockey and LGBTQ+ communities — and turn our audiences into our advocates.
The Pride Tape strategy began with a Kickstarter campaign that helped us tackle two key goals at once: raising money to get the tape produced while raising awareness for the issue. It created passionate ambassadors who shared the message with conviction across their social networks.
Along with the University of Alberta, we were joined by You Can Play — the most prominent charitable organization working towards inclusivity in sports — who immediately came on board and helped us gain the support of the NHL, its teams, and its players.
Then we convinced many outlets that the cause was worth getting behind, which wasn’t hard. TV, print and outdoor media outlets lent their support to help make the Kickstarter a success. And it was overwhelming, with $850,000 in ad space donated to the campaign.
The Oilers stepped up in a big way, becoming the first NHL team to use Pride Tape on their sticks for their sold-out Skills Competition and blasting out the story on their website and through all their social media channels. We also received the early and critical support of Brian Burke, then President of the Calgary Flames. The NHL also came to the table, providing rewards for the Kickstarter page, an article on NHL.com and social media mentions.
We continue to be blown away by the heart-warming stories that came out of the campaign. A young boy made his own Pride Tape when he found out it wasn’t in stores. A High School Gay Straight Alliance held a bake sale to raise Kickstarter funds. Pride Tape even made its way into Canada’s House of Commons with a statement by a Member of Parliament that received a standing ovation. Pride Tape now sits proudly in the Hockey Hall of Fame and is available worldwide at PrideTape.com
- 6.5 million reached through social media
- Over 5,000 interactions on Twitter and Facebook
- Over 30,000 people visited the Kickstarter page during the campaign
- Our Kickstarter goal was exceeded over a week before the campaign closed
- 1,146 backers brought us more than $20,000 past our target
- Over $850,000 in ad space was donated to the campaign.
- The Oilers stepped up in a big way, becoming the first NHL team to use Pride Tape.
- A young boy made his own Pride Tape when he found out it wasn’t in stores. Now, Pride Tape is available at major in-store and online retailers.
- Pride Tape has now been used by every single NHL team. And you can see Pride Tape everywhere in the world, from Madison Square Gardens to a small outdoor rink high in the Himalayas.
- The momentum keeps growing as Pride Tape is being widely used in other sports, including baseball and lacrosse.