DirecTV taps Olympic medalist Sydney Leroux to embolden young athletes
Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux advocates for young female soccer players while shining a light on DirecTV and LeagueSide’s youth sports scholarship.
DirecTV’s goal is to help all children play sports, no matter their financial situation.
From the screen to the field, DirecTV and youth sports sponsorship platform LeagueSide have pledged to support over 250 youth leagues nationwide this fall. To kick off the endeavor, the two have enlisted pro soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Sydney Leroux to front a TV commercial. Disguised as a male coach, Leroux berates the team with sexist comments, before revealing her true identity and a heartfelt message: female athletes support one another and stand up for themselves.
”Youth sports are critical to child development, not just physically but also for mental, social, and emotional health as well,” says LeagueSide’s chief executive Evan Brandoff. “We wanted to surprise and inspire a Direct-sponsored girls’ soccer team and remind them of the unforgettable impact women can have when they support and speak up for each other on and off the field.”
Leroux made for the ideal athlete partner because of her experience with inequality in women’s sports throughout her career, says Brandoff. “She has seen the much-needed increase in participation, viewership, and funding into women’s sports but she also understands the next generation of female athletes need to continue the charge – a lesson she imparts as an undercover coach.”
In addition to the commercial, DirecTV and LeagueSide have announced a $500 scholarship to cover registration and equipment costs for 20 young athletes this season. This year alone, DirecTV has reported sponsoring over 850 youth sports leagues, which have used its sponsorship dollars for a variety of programs, from financial aid to facility and field rental fees and referee costs.
The campaign, developed in partnership with creative agency Shareability, underscores the variety of DirecTV’s marketing strategies. Last month, the brand released a tongue-in-cheek campaign that saw a famous quarterback go head-to-head with a Real Housewives star.