adidas, what makes an athlete?


adidas UK




Perpetua Png
Marshall Lawrence
Jojo Cooper


The world is progressing from its traditionally binary understanding of gender. Sport, with its huge ability to drive progress, can play an important role in breaking down these barriers. We were asked to come up with a campaign that leverages adidas' power in sport to ensure all communities feel welcome and can thrive.

Our Insight

Women and Non-Binary people feel left out of sport as they don’t feel represented as athletes. What distinguishes Women and Non-Binary people from other athletes is the additional societal barriers they must overcome.

Our campaign

'What Make an Athlete?' targets communities by celebrating the mental grit, vulnerability, and determination they demonstrate by continuing to pursue their athletic dreams (however big or small) in spite of social marginalisation.

Gendered activity

The binary organisation of activity can be a barrier for non-binary people. The experience of having to be labelled as something they are not can be distressing and so excluding that they end up leaving a sport or activity.

Gendered spaces

The highly gendered nature of sports spaces can mean that non-binary participants experience greater exclusion in sports than they do in other aspects of their daily lives.

Language and representation

The imagery, language and comms across the industry is not inclusive of non-binary people. We found that language can be a hugely important tool in making non-binary people feel welcome in sport spaces.