June 2, 2023
World leading Danish toy manufacturer, LEGO Group, is championing the “endless potential of girls when they are given opportunities to play without limits.” With a goal of challenging stereotypes around play and creative building, its new “Play Unstoppable” campaign is based on research that found that girls feel increasingly confident to engage in all types of play and creative activities but remain held back by society’s ingrained gender stereotypes.
The study, commissioned by the LEGO Group and carried out by the Geena Davis Institute in 2021, surveyed 6,844 parents and children aged 6-14 years old in China, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and the US. Results showed that while 74% of boys felt that some activities are sex exclusive, only 62% of girls felt the same. Girls were also more open to different types of creative play compared to what their parents and society typically encourage with football one of the key differentiators: 82% of girls believe it’s okay for girls to play football and boys to practice ballet, compared to only 71% of boys.
To celebrate what girls can achieve when they have the space and freedom to play openly, LEGO has created a new football-themed LEGO® Icons of Play set featuring four minifigures representing some of the biggest change makers in women’s football. They include Australia national team captain and Chelsea F.C. striker Sam Kerr; World Cup champion and Japanese Olympic silver medalist Yūki Nagasato; five-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year (Nigeria) and FC Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala; and two-time World Cup champion and US Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe.
“Play, both on and off the pitch, helps children explore who they are, build confidence and feel like part of a team. It’s one of the reasons why women’s football is one of the fastest growing sports globally, with crowd attendance records being shattered regularly and over 30 million girls now playing the game worldwide,” said Kerr. “But despite the talent of female players and the excitement of the game finally being recognized on the global stage, there are still many stereotypes that surround girls, their hobbies and the way they play that we need to break down. I hope that seeing women like me achieve their dreams inspires girls to believe they are unstoppable when they get to do the things they love.”
To advocate for girls to continue to break down the barriers that define how they play, the LEGO Group is also partnering with:
- Football Australia, through Legacy ’23 and Our Game, to create a platform for community to challenge gender stereotypes in football, advocate for play without limits and encourage all girls to play unstoppable.
- The U.S. Soccer Foundation on three permanent mini-football pitches to ensure greater access to play opportunities for girls.
Off the pitch, the campaign film called ‘Play Moves Us’ explores the possibilities that are unlocked when girls have the freedom to Play Unstoppable in whatever passion they choose to focus on. All four players are joined by girls from around the world to explore building, fashion, gaming and music, and discuss the importance of playing without boundaries. The short film will be available on LEGO.com and supported by each of the players on their channels.
“For over 65 years, the LEGO Brick has provided endless play possibilities for all children, allowing girls to dream, build and become anything they desire even when society tells them otherwise,” said Julia Goldin, Chief Product and Marketing Officer of the LEGO Group. “Women’s football is a powerful reminder of what girls can do when they break free from stereotypes – our four footballers are players at the top of the game. As strong women on and off the pitch, they are inspirations for girls everywhere to realize their potential.”