Official supporter of the England Women’s Football Team erected a statue of Lily Parr at Manchester's National Football Museum ahead of the Women’s World Cup
The UK’s first ever statue of a female footballer, commissioned by Mars, was unveiled at the National Football Museum last week, ahead of the England Lionesses bid for glory at this summer’s tournament.
Mars, a long-standing sponsor of The FA and official supporter of the England’s Women’s Team, commissioned the statue as part of their ongoing commitment to championing and inspiring the current England Lionesses and future female sports stars.
The life-size bronze statue, imagined in honour of women’s football trailblazer Lily Parr, was brought to life by award-winning Sussex-based sculptor, Hannah Stewart. Mars also worked with the renowned artist to create a miniature trophy of the statue, which will be awarded to the England Women’s Football Team player who the public feels most displays Lily’s characteristics – teamwork, determination and skill – during this summer’s tournament. Polls will appear on the Mars Twitter page after each England match, with the player receiving the most votes at the end of the tournament going on to win the trophy.
Gemma Buggins, Mars brand director, said: “We are delighted to have unveiled the UK’s first ever female footballer statue of the amazing Lily Parr. At Mars, we’re passionate about recognising female role models and, as our current generation of Lionesses compete in this summer’s tournament, we thought that it was about time that we shone a spotlight on Lily as a trailblazer for today’s team.
“We hope this statue and our #SupportHer campaign inspires other women to follow their dreams as we get ready to enjoy an exciting summer of women’s football!”
The core statue concept was developed by advertising agency AMV BBDO and includes a full 360 campaign which includes targeted digital and social media activity and media partnerships. The wider campaign is brought together under the hashtag #SupportHer, which was devised by sports marketing agency Octagon, to encourage conversation and champion the England Lionesses. The PR campaign, which included the announcement and unveiling of the statue at the National Football Museum was carried out by Porter Novelli London.
A short film, created by AMV BBDO, featuring footage of Lily Parr and her team playing debuted at the statue unveiling. The film features three current England Lionesses – Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Karen Bardsley – who discuss their admiration for Lily Parr; her incredible self-belief and commitment to football. The Lionesses also talk about the Lily Parr trophy, debating which of their teammates deserves to be awarded the honour. A series of shorter films (15 seconds) will feature across social media this summer.