Molson’s PWHL hockey jerseys highlight the women’s names while hiding the brand’s

Rethink design project solves the problem of players’ hair obscuring their names

Published On
Mar 13, 2024
Back side of a Molson-designed PWHL jersey

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Women’s sports don’t get nearly as much love as they should. Despite a recent surge in popularity, awareness of individual women athletes still isn’t where it should be, due in part to a lack of equitable sports media coverage. 

According to a 2022 study, women’s sports accounted for a mere 15% of total sports media coverage that year. Meanwhile, names of players, often covered by ponytails, loose hair or braids on their jerseys, tend to go unrecognized. 

Canadian-based brewery Molson embarked on a mission to change that with a campaign launched in partnership with the new Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). 

Last Friday, for International Women’s Day, the brand kicked off a multi-year partnership with the league by sponsoring the space above the numbers on PWHL jerseys, causing the players names to be shifted below the number. As a result, Molson’s own name was covered so that each woman’s name could be seen. 

 

The campaign, titled “See My Name,” led by agency Rethink, was introduced through a 30-second video featuring PWHL Toronto players Natalie Spooner and captain Blayre Turnbull, alongside PWHL Montreal athletes Ann-Renée Desbiens, Leah Lum and Catherine Dubois. 

The updated jerseys also made a special appearance during the March 8 game between Toronto and Montreal.

“We wanted to make sure we kept the design tweak to the jersey as small as possible to help show that one small design tweak could make a huge difference. Execution was really important,” Leslie Malcolm, VP of marketing at Molson, told Ad Age in an interview. “We were all really committed to keeping this as simple as possible and letting the power of the idea speak for itself.”

Since the jerseys debuted, Molson has experienced an “overwhelmingly positive response,” Malcom said, especially across North America, where the campaign has been shared by tennis superstar Billie Jean King and gone viral on social media. 

@jcubedhax the video at the end…im obsessed #pwhl #wlw ♬ original sound - Coach Jackie J

While the jerseys are temporary, Molson is in talks with the PWHL to extend the idea and launch more initiatives to elevate individual players. In addition to the product and digital media, paid media will run until March 24 and includes social, online video, a Sportsnet and Breakfast Television integration and OOH.

The campaign follows Molson launch of its “Everyone In” campaign last year to introduce the brand to a new generation of Canadian beer drinkers.

See more of the jersey designs below.

Molson PWHL jersey design

Molson PWHL jersey design

Molson PWHL jersey design

Molson PWHL jersey design