July 12, 2023

Developed by Octagon, “Play On” Initiative is Designed to Keep Girls Involved in Sport and Continue to Learn Skills to Achieve Full Potential

LONDON – 29th June, 2023 – Standard Chartered and Liverpool FC announced today the debut of “Topper”, the third TV and digital series instalment of the globally recognised “Play On” initiative designed to encourage girls to continue in sport. Created by Octagon, “Play On” aims to support the vast numbers of girls pressured into dropping out of sport in their early teens, often depriving them of opportunities to build essential life-skills that sport nurtures including resilience, self-confidence, leadership, and teamwork.

A study conducted by Women In Sport found that in the UK alone, nearly 1 million girls lost interest in sport in their teenage years, despite seeing themselves as “sporty.” Some of the reasons given for not wanting to participate in sport included; a fear of feeling judged by others, lack of confidence, pressures of schoolwork, and not feeling safe outside.

Initially teased at the end of May to coincide with the last Premier League game of 2022-23, the four-year campaign includes a series of two hard-hitting social films that gained huge social media attention and were featured on mainstream media such as ITV’s “This Morning”. The TV and digital campaign is written and art directed by Octagon’s Dan Harrison, Jonny Watson and Leo Savage, and directed by Armand de Saint Salvy of Electric Lime films.

“In ‘Play On’ and our new film ‘Topper’, we’ve looked to use partnerships rights in a more creative way, developing a big idea with true purpose. The Standard Chartered and Liverpool FC partnership is a huge platform, which gives us all the exciting opportunity to tackle societal issues at a global scale, and use the power of sport to make a real difference for girls,” says Harrison, Creative Director at Octagon.

The successful teaser films frame the issue in an arresting way. The first spot in the series, “I Quit”, features prominent Liverpool FC players Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota and Harvey Elliot in what appears to be an everyday post-match interview. The players ultimately begin announcing they’re quitting football, and citing common reasons why girls drop out of sport. The second teaser, “Team Talk,” features a rousing half-time team talk from Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp, with the camera ultimately turning to reveal that Klopp’s audience is not in fact his Liverpool FC players, but rather a group of teenage girls on the verge of quitting.

Debuting on 29th June, “Topper” will take viewers through time as we see a teen girl’s football trophy come to life and guide her through the ups and downs on the path to achieving her full potential. Designed to be symbolic of the life skills that athletes often learn from participating in sport, the film is written to work across cultures and regions, and speak to girls worldwide.

“Turning the men’s team into allies for women and girls was possible thanks to Standard Chartered and Liverpool Football Club being open to thinking outside the box. They used their ability to see the potential for using their access and platforms to raise awareness for the alarming rates at which young women drop out of sport during their teenage years,” said Danielle Barwick, Account Director at Octagon. “Ultimately, we are still a long way from undoing the social stigmas that pressure young women to drop out of sport, and closing the funding gap that restricts their opportunities to play as they progress through their teenage years. However, we’re optimistic that projects like this will continue to help advance efforts.”

“Play On” will serve as Standard Chartered and Liverpool Football Club’s long-term initiative to address these challenges, by inspiring young women around the world to take up and stay in sport. In addition to raising awareness around the pressures keeping girls out of sport, “Play On” will include additional programmes designed to keep young women in sport for longer, learn key life skills that come from sport, and leverage those skills in the workplace.

To view the new campaign, click


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Octagon is the preeminent creative, integrated marketing, and talent management agency in global sports and entertainment. The agency creates distinctive creative and marketing campaigns for some of the largest brands and Fortune 500 companies across the globe and represents more than 900 of the most prominent and influential athletes, talent, and properties in the world.

With more than 1,000 employees worldwide, based in 50 offices, in 20 countries, Octagon is positioned in virtually all areas of sports and entertainment.