FEATURE13 August 2015

‘I kick balls. Deal with it.’

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Features Impact Leisure & Arts

The messages put across in Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign don’t pull any punches. Launched in January of this year, the cross-platform campaign is intended to inspire English women between 14 and 40 to get active.


With more than eight million (and counting) YouTube views, the video ad features everyday women – not the perfectly-proportioned models that have become the advertising norm – taking part in, and enjoying, sport. But while the inspiration behind the campaign came purely from research, 18 months ago the public body’s insight directorate didn’t even exist.

Prior to its formation, led by director of insight, Lisa O’Keefe, there was a research function within the business, but its remit was chiefly evaluating the investments that the organisation had made since it formed.

Behaviour change

Sport England is a public body with three key areas of focus: growing the number of people doing sport; sustaining participation levels; and ensuring talented sportspeople from all backgrounds are supported on their career path in sport.

In 2007, the body changed its strategy to focus for the first time on the delivery of outcomes. Prior to that, O’Keefe explains, the organisation was built around delivering outputs: delivering a certain number ...