In this 11th edition, in honour of February being Black History Month and National Girls…
A new mascot is making its debut heading into the first WNBA game on Canadian soil. But rather than represent a team, this mascot represents equality in sport. Meet Ally Hoop: The Equal Pay Mascot.
“It’s no secret that WNBA players make less than NBA players but what many might not realise is they also make less than NBA mascots,” said Gabriela Estrada, Executive Director, Fast & Female. “Rocky the Mountain Lion, the mascot for the Denver Nuggets, makes three times more than the highest paid WNBA player – this shows just how far today’s women athletes still need to come in the fight for equality. ”Fast & Female, the charity partner for this campaign, is on a mission to empower girls aged 8 to 14 through sport and physical activity.
“The campaign approach is a fun and unconventional way to call attention to a serious issue,” said Estrada. “A mascot’s role is to hype fans, so why not hype them up to be more engaged in pushing for pay equity?”
Fast & Female is also working on representation to keep women and girls involved in athletics. According to the Canadian Women and Sport Rally Report, by age 16, one out of three girls who played sports drop out, versus one out of 10 boys the same age.
Canadian women’s soccer player Janine Beckie is a spokesperson for the campaign and has been a vocal advocate and has been a vocal advocate in the ongoing wage battle with Soccer Canada, alongside Canadian WNBA player, Laeticia Amihere.
“Women’s sports are advancing because of people in sports doing exactly this – choosing to fight for better,” said Beckie. “We can’t sit on the sidelines and hope for change. We need fans to join the movement and consume it. To buy merchandise, tune into games on TV, share opinions publicly, bring friends to events. Call out sexism, hold humanity to a higher standard. There are so many great ways to get involved, but we need to keep pushing the bar for visibility.”
“I want little girls and young women everywhere who are watching to know that women’s sports are only going up from here,” said Amihere. “You can make it; I promise you can. It is important to me to help pave a way for young women. Just keep going, because basketball is on the rise for women. Just watch.”
The concept for Ally Hoop was developed by Toronto creative company Hard Work Club. Ally will live in an animated video where she’ll do a mascot-style hype dance and will appear on t-shirts and other merchandise sold on the Fast & Female website with all proceeds going towards the cause. The campaign is supported with digital billboards, in-restaurant posters, and Influencers using #allyhoop.
The topic hits close to home for the creative company who aims to put issues like this one in a new light.
“As a mother of two young daughters, this campaign is personal, yet it’s a message the whole team was excited to rally behind. ” said Meghan Kraemer, Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director, Hard Work Club. “We want this next generation of young girls to see that they can move beyond the stands and onto a level playing field, that their wildest dreams are possible.”
About Fast & Female:
Fast and Female is a Canadian charity on a mission to empower self-identified girls aged 8 to 14 through sport and physical activity. Founded in 2005, Fast and Female believes in the power of positive sport experiences and role models to give girls leadership, teamwork and resiliency skills. For more information, visit https://fastandfemale.com.
About Hard Work Club:
Hard Work Club is an advertising and design company that makes heart-grabbing work, for hard-working brands. For more information visit https://www.hardworkclub.com/
For more information and for interview opportunities: