A kid announces his 'retirement' from sports in this ESPN campaign tackling youth burnout

The sports network has teamed up with the Aspen Institute to support 'Project Play'

Published On
Aug 06, 2019

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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.



Aug 06, 2019
Client :
ESPN/Aspen Institute
Agency :
Arnold Worldwide-Boston
Executive Director :
Tom Farrey
Partner Engagement :
Otto Strong
Vice President Corporate Citizenship :
Kevin Martinez
Manager Corporate Citizenship :
Jennifer Paulette
Chief Executive Officer :
Kiran Smith
Chief Creative Officer Content :
Icaro Doria
Executive Creative Director :
James Bray
EVP Head of Integrated Production :
Zamile Vilakazi
Head of Business Affairs :
Danielle Ivicic
Business Affairs Manager :
Christine McHugh
Senior Brand Strategist :
Molly Chisholm
VP Creative Director Copy :
Justin Galvin
VP Creative Director Art :
Sam Mullins
SVP Executive Producer :
Paul Shannon
SVP Marketing Director :
Gail Felcher
Marketing Manager :
Aidan Keefer
Project Manager :
Eric Rubino
Director :
The Hudson Dusters
Producer :
Luke Stevens
Director of Photography :
Nathan Swingle
Exec Producer :
Tatiana Rudzinski
Exec Producer :
Trevor King
Producer :
Charlotte Delon
Editor :
Matt Murphy
Color Grading :
Nice Shoes
Colorist :
Phil Choe
Producer :
Elizabeth Mitchell

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