ESPN has teamed with the Aspen Institute for a new campaign that aims to tackle the problem of kids giving up on sports prematurely.
According to the Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative, last year only 38% of kids ages 6 to 12 played team sports on a regular basis, down from 45% in 2008. The campaign is aimed at parents and aims to highlight some of the issues, such as the pressures, stress and rising costs associated with playing sports, which detract kids from the joy and fun they should be experiencing from the game.
Created by Arnold Worldwide and directed by the Hudson Dusters at Greenpoint Pictures, the first PSA in the series features a young boy announcing his retirement from sports in the manner of an established athlete giving a press conference. It’s a familiar scenario we’ve seen from many adult starts, as he enters the room looking somber in a hoodie, thanks everyone who’s helped him and trots out well-worn lines such as “I said I would play this game as long as I was having fun…now it’s time to call it quits.” ” Icaro Doria, Chief Creative Officer at Arnold, says in a statement that the creative “compels parents and coaches to introspect and ask themselves: am I part of the problem?”
The spot launched on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” at the weekend followed by an interview with Kobe Bryant, who’s acting as lead spokesperson of the campaign.