Play Like a Girl Announces New Board Members

Yesterday, we announced the appointment of nine new members to the Play Like a Girl Board of Directors effective July 1, 2019. These members will join the full slate of 13 professionals including officers and renewing board members for 2020.

"We are pleased to welcome nine new directors to Play Like a Girl's board and especially value the constructive discussions we have had with each of them about the vision and enthusiasm they bring to the organization," said Celeste Bell, Play Like a Girl's Chairwoman and Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Publicis Media. "They join our team at an exciting time as we continue to drive our five-year strategic plan forward and build deeper relationships with industry in Nashville to fulfill our goal of helping young women develop the leadership skills they need for careers in the STEM workforce."

The Board regularly evaluates its composition to ensure it includes the appropriate skills, experience and perspective necessary to drive impact and growth for the organization, and with these director additions, Play Like a Girl has many exciting new opportunities. "We believe the refreshed, new local board and the management team led by our founder and CEO Dr. Kimberly Clay are committed to achieving outstanding results and maximizing opportunities for girls across Nashville and Middle Tennessee as we expand," said Bell who will serve for the duration of her board term as Chairwoman, alongside Board Secretary Dan Werly, Partner and Sports Attorney at Sievert Werly, LLC, Board Treasurer Sara Toussaint, VP of Sports Marketing at Wells Fargo. These board officers lead the recent search as members of the nominating and governance committee, chaired by renewing Director Jodie Gleason, VP Controller of Broadcast Music Inc.

[bctt tweet="The addition of these directors complements our board of directors' skills and experiences, and we are confident they will provide valuable perspectives as we continue to execute our strategic plan, drive change and enhance the investments of our donors in the girls we serve. We look forward to their contributions and are excited they chose Play Like a Girl," said Clay." username="iplaylikeagirl"]

Newly-elected directors include Celeste Bishop-Stein, president and CEO of Bishop, Stein & Associates PR; Lindsey Ellis, Account Manager of Crosslin, PLLC; Missey Garcia-Smith, Vice President of Convention Services at Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation; Danielle Gaw, Director of Corporate Partnerships of the Nashville Sounds; Ellie Grove, Account Manager of Community Brands; Katie Grubbs, Account Executive of the Tennessee Titans; Campbell Mobley, Curator of Exhibitions of Cheekwood Estate & Gardens; Dr. Chevis Shannon, Research Associate Professor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Ashley Wallace, Corporate HR Manager of Dollar General.

Play Like a Girl is a Nashville-based 501(c)3 charitable organization on a mission to harness the natural properties of sport to develop girls' potential to become impactful leaders in the STEM workforce.

We accomplish this by keeping girls active in sports through their middle school years, translating their athletic skills to leadership in the workplace. With the help of the Board of Directors, we are building a robust pipeline of diverse, motivated and well-prepared women leaders for the next generation of game-changing innovation.



Tennis Star Madison Keys to Keynote Play Like a Girl Honors

The Play Like a Girl Honors celebrates the contributions of leading women and men in sports and the girls they inspire. And who better to help us do that than Madison Keys, one of the most talented and brightest young stars in the tennis world? Keys will be our keynote speaker for the Honors Gala as well as the recipient of our prestigious Founder’s Award.

It Doesn’t Matter How You Get in the Game

What matters is that you play. Keys has shared that while she became interested in tennis at a young age, the reason why might surprise you.  When she was four years old as she watched Wimbledon on television, Keys fell in love with Venus Williams’ dress and asked her parents for one like it. They offered to get her one, if she started playing tennis. Did she ever take them up on the challenge!

Keys began taking lessons regularly at age seven, began competing in tournaments at age nine and moved to Florida at age 10 with her mom and younger sisters to train at the Evert Tennis Academy founded by John Evert. Keys went professional in 2009 on her 14th birthday and went on to defeat Serena Williams 5-1 in a World Team Tennis Match that same year!

After winning the Australian Open in 2015 at age 19 she became the world’s highest ranked teenager. Then in 2016, she became the first American to enter the top 10 women’s rankings since Serena Williams held the spot in 1999. By 2017, Keys was a U.S. Open finalist.

Leveling the Playing Field On and Off the Court

Keys is a big proponent of our mission to level the playing field for girls. She herself was inspired early on by the efforts of the Williams sisters to bridge the prize money gap between men and women in tennis.

In a Refinery 29 article Keys discusses her views regarding gender inequality in sports, “As a whole and across the board, we have to get better, because it’s very obvious that [women] aren’t [treated] equal. Having a platform means that I won’t just sit back and say everything’s okay. I think the biggest thing is addressing [inequality]—not telling [professional athletes] to ignore the issue.”

One Fearless Mission

Keys is making good on that promise to use her platform by teaming up with FearlesslyGirl , an internationally recognized anti-bullying organization dedicated to creating a kinder girl world in schools and communities across North America.

She has spoken about how she herself struggled to belong in high school particularly since she spent so much time on the road with tennis. And still today Keys experiences online bullying, but says since learning how her responses to those negative comments have inspired girls to also speak out she is going to dedicate herself to bringing about change.

Also fueled by her desire to be a good role model for her two younger sisters, Keys hopes FearlesslyGirl “will give me a very unique opportunity to inspire, help, encourage and be a big sister to a whole generation of girls,” she says in a Forbes article on her work with the organization.

Keys to Success

What advice would Keys give our girls as they take their shot? In a TennisMood article she shares these tips:

  • “For me every day is a new day and a new challenge. Past doesn’t really matter.”
  • “I don’t really focus on other people’s expectations. I only care what my own expectations are.”
  • “If you want to grow up and be successful, two things you don’t want to leave home without are hard work and dedication.”
  • “Find your motivation—and follow it. I try to stay motivated by always thinking this is what’s going to make me better.”

Join the Party

The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala raises awareness and funds to support our programs for girls in Nashville and across the country. This year’s star-studded event featuring Madison Keys will take place Monday, November 26 at Marriott Hotel Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. The event will feature a cocktail hour with cash bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, live music, red carpet and more.

Get your ticket today! 

Follow the event on Facebook for updates and other information.

Nashville Young Professionals Organize for Play Like a Girl

Millennials may go down as one of the most giving generations in history, even as young professionals with less disposable income and student loans to pay. In fact, according to The Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report in 2014, 84 percent of millennials gave charitably and 70 percent volunteered for a charitable cause. [bctt tweet="Across the world and right here in Nashville, millennials want to make the world a better place, and that’s an example that inspires us and our girls." username="iplaylikeagirl"]

A  New Opportunity for Young Professionals in Nashville

As Play Like a Girl invests in the next generation of confident, successful women, who better to help us than today’s confident, successful young professionals? You understand all too well the obstacles girls face to stay in the game through college and as they begin careers.

That’s why we’re starting the Play Like a Girl All Stars, our new young professionals network. The goal is to provide young professionals in Nashville the opportunity to expand their professional network and build leadership skills while supporting our mission to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential by providing them a chance--sometimes their only chance--to participate in sport and physical activity.

Make a Difference Doing What You Know

The Millennial Impact Report also states that 77 percent of millennials are more likely to volunteer when they can use their specific skills to maximize their philanthropic impact. Play Like a Girl All Stars have plenty of opportunity to do just that, “Acting as ambassadors, members of this young professionals network will engage the community through skilled volunteering, fundraising, networking and advocacy opportunities targeting young professionals with an interest or background in sports and/or STEM (science, tech, engineering and math),” says Dr. McKenna Healy, Play Like a Girl Board Member and All Stars Chair.

Giving Back Gives You Even More

Today’s young professionals know that when you give back, you get even more through the impact you make in young lives. Play Like a Girl All Stars will meet young professionals across the Nashville metro area to create innovative cross-sector STEM and sports partnerships, support the alumnae of Play Like a Girl programs as well as learn more about how to get involved in keeping girls in sports and, ultimately, propel young women into careers at the intersection of STEM and sports.

The perks of All Stars:

  • Receive invites to exclusive All Stars happy hours, socials and other insider-only events.
  • Get active in our summer sports league, top secret boot camps and fitness classes.
  • Roll up your sleeves or lace up your shoes to volunteer and fundraise for Play Like a Girl.
  • Develop your professional muscle through professional development events with a variety of thought leaders in the sports industry.
  • Get featured on our website and social media.
  • Have fun!

Start the MOVEment

The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala is known to gather hundreds to raise awareness and funds to support our programs for girls in Nashville and across the country. This year's star-studded event will take place Monday, November 26 at Marriott Hotel Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville.

Of course, the cost of a single ticket is cost prohibitive for most individuals who might want to attend. But this year, we didn’t want to leave out our young patrons, so we're launching the All Stars Young Professional Network at the Play Like a Girl Honors VIP Reception starting at 5:00 p.m.

The event will feature a cocktail hour with open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, live music, red carpet and more. Plus, young professionals will rub elbows with elite athletes, celebrities and influencers across a variety of industries.

A special $99 early bird ticket is available for young professionals through November 5. This ticket includes entrance to the VIP Reception, the main Honors event and annual All Stars membership for 2019--a value of over $300.

Proceeds from the event will help Play Like a Girl serve 500 Nashville girls in 2019. What’s more, we are currently recruiting members of the All Stars Steering Committee.

All Stars help transform lives on and off the field; bring your game by filling out the Young Professionals Interest Form or getting your early bird ticket to the Play Like a Girl Honors Gala.

Follow the event on Facebook for updates and other information.

The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala

Ever wondered what it's like to attend a glittering Nashville charity gala, packed with a sea of glamorously-dressed guests and sparkling with a light of a thousand flashbulbs?

Well you can quit wondering, because we're inviting you to join us at the Play Like a Girl Honors Gala, to be held November 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Cool Springs. And we're going to be giving you a peek at the amazing creative process beforehand since we're just kicking up the pressure on the planning process.

As our biggest and brightest event of the year, the Play Like a Girl Honors is a chance for those of us in the sweaty stench of the work all year long to come together as a community and take a break (just for one night!) from our crazy-busy schedules to live it up and celebrate our accomplishments. Plus, of course, we're celebrating some pretty amazing people.

Hosted by talented ESPN host and commentator Cari Champion, the Play Like a Girl Honors celebrates the  contributions and exceptional service of leading women and men in sports and the girls they inspire. The 2018 honorees include professional tennis player and 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys, inspirational coach and mentor Bart Brooks (Belmont University Lady Bruins Basketball), global sports brand strategist Kenyatta Bynoe, corporate volunteers Sammie Griffin & Paula Hood (Wells Fargo Bank) and influential sports marketer Kenisha Rhone (Belmont University Athletics).

The Honors has become a staple in Play Like a Girl history by celebrating extraordinary shining stars in sports including Mo'ne Davis, the first girl to earn a win and to pitch a shutout in Little League World Series history, and Kim Mulkey, the first person in NCAA history to win a basketball national championship as a player, assistant coach and head coach, among others.

Without a doubt, a gorgeous affair of this kind takes quite a bit of planning and work. This year Laura Lubin of Ellerslie Interiors is the master planner serving on the Host Committee alongside Co-Chairs Danielle Breezy & Kelly Ford, and we're working together with a team of 40 women volunteers to brainstorm and bring our concept for the gala to life.

Together, we'll transform a mundane conference center into a sophisticated party scene. Once the space design is finalized, we will take you behind the scenes to the design studio of Elizabeth Imber to show you just how amazing this process is, from pulling in elements from the venue and combining them in the event branding to designing the elegant Save the Date announcement and invitation suite using a sleek gold and metallic palette.

We'll be sharing videos along with the final invitation. It is truly a work of art, and we want you to be a part of it. Hope you enjoy the journey as much as we do!

To purchase tickets or host a table, please visit


Trisha Yearwood Reports for Snack Duty

Country music superstar and New York Times bestselling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood and her sister, Beth, stopped by Play Like a Girl for snack duty during camp and filmed an episode of her Emmy® Award-winning Food Network series Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.

Trisha and Beth taught our girls how to make Easy Snack Skewers. Inspired by the day, Trisha whipped up some other snacks, too, including Baked Apple Chips with Rainbow Fruit Salsa, Power Wraps with Sweet Potato Hummus and Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. With help from the campers and camp volunteers Abby Blair and Amanda Webster, Trisha and Beth also had fun playing like girls—volleyball, Double Dutch and all!

The episode of Trisha's Southern Kitchen featuring Play Like a Girl will air Saturday, August 18 at 10:30 a.m. ET, 9:30 CT on Food Network.

Yearwood, a former athlete herself, is known for her ballads about vulnerable young women from a perspective that has been described by music critics as "strong" and "confident". Yearwood is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Yearwood rose to fame in 1991 with her debut single "She's in Love with the Boy", which became her first No. 1 single and was featured on her self-titled debut album. Yearwood has continued to find success and widespread critical acclaim, selling more than 15 million albums worldwide, and has won three Grammy Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, an American Music Award, and a Pollstar Industry Award for touring.

On November 26, Trisha will join us again as Honorary Chair at the 8th Annual Play Like a Girl Honors Gala where she will gather a flock of fans and friends as we add a splash of Grammy Award-winning country to our only fundraiser of the year. Don your favorite cocktail dress and raise your glass for this elegant dinner and awards presentation at our host hotel Marriott Hotel Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee.


A Fresh, New Website with You in Mind

We are proud to announce the launch of the newly redesigned Play Like a Girl website, This redesigned site offers quick and easy access to essential information and features while offering a more comprehensive understanding of Play Like a Girl’s mission and program offerings. The website also offers updated information on news and press releases, participant testimonials, board member profiles and volunteer opportunities. Updated blog posts will include topics centered around health, confidence and leadership, as well as key industry highlights and news in the STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) and sports fields.

The primary objectives of our site development effort were focused on aesthetics, simplifying our content, increasing the visibility of our programs and improving the user experience. The new website has a clean uncluttered design, improved functionality and enhanced rich content focused on the organization’s mission to harness the natural properties of sport to propel young women into male-dominated careers at the intersection of STEM and sports. The new design also allows for streamlined menus, clear navigation and a responsive layout for all platforms.

“We are excited about our new website launch and the robust information it provides for participants, donors, partners, volunteers and media to better understand Play Like a Girl’s mission,” said Dr. Kimberly Clay, CEO of Play Like a Girl. “We believe that this new site will allow our visitors to have a very informative experience as we continue to grow and increase our online presence.”

In addition to the updated design and layout, the following new content and functions have been implemented in the new site:

  • Locations — It's easier than ever to find a Club, Camp or other Play Like a Girl program or event on our new locations page. To join a club, simply contact the Club coach at the email provided. Or, start a Club or host a Camp for girls in your community by clicking the respective button from the bottom of the page.
  • Get Inspired — Become an advocate for the power of STEM and sports to help girls reach their full potential by sharing your own stories and experiences participating in or coaching a Club, hosting a Camp or volunteering with a program or event. Our new blog highlights your stories from the field in new ways, bringing your stories closer to donors and inspiring others to stay in the game just like you.
  • Fundraise — The key business challenge for us right now is more repeatable, sustainable revenue so we've included new ways to genuinely engage with supporters to raise funds, increase awareness and reach new donors, especially focused on creating campaigns that encourage you to ask your friends and relatives to donate to Play Like a Girl.
  • Quick Links — While on any given page, you can now access the following key links from the footer or bottom of the page: Get Involved, Read Our Blog, Meet Our Team, Partner with Us, Press, Financials, Contact Us, Speaker Requests and Get Our Emails.

The new website will be updated on a regular basis with news of event announcements, program activity, corporate milestones, blog articles and press releases. Additional features including an online store and resource center on the backend for Club coaches and Camp hosts will be added over the course of several weeks.

Please explore the website and sign up for direct emails from us by adding your email address to the newsletter subscription box anywhere on the site. Your feedback is very important to us as we strive to develop a website that is valuable to you. Submit any questions, comments and concerns to us at

A special thanks to web developer and designer Georges Etienne of and the Huckleberry Designs and Social Cake teams for participating in the redesign process.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Today we appointed six new members to the Play Like a Girl National Board of Directors, which is stacked with leaders who will help guide the organization’s efforts to keep girls from dropping out of sport and physical activity and grow our Play Like a Girl Clubs program to a broader, national audience in middle schools and community centers over the next five years.

Members of the Board of Directors are from national organizations and in markets across our evolving footprint and bring expertise in a variety of areas — recruiting, project and risk management, for instance, as well as sports marketing and law. They’re tasked with governing the organization’s work and helping to direct the nonprofit towards its goals as outlined in the Play Like a Girl 2022 Strategic Plan and will provide oversight of business and financial opportunities that will help the organization meet its goals and deliver on our mission.

“These women and men are leaders in their respective fields, and all of them are dedicated to serving the unique needs of girls from diverse communities across the U.S.,” said Play Like a Girl President and CEO Dr. Kimberly Clay. “We’re firmly committed to helping girls experience the joy of sport and physical activity at a time when they are forming lifelong habits, and making a difference in communities across our expanding footprint, and the Board of Directors is critical to those efforts. Teamwork makes the dream work.”

According to a study by Ernst Young and espnW, 94% of women executives in the C-suite first found success in sports. For former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it was tennis and basketball among others. For Nashville’s own Trisha Yearwood, it was softball. But according to Gatorade’s recent “Girls in Sports” study, girls drop out of sports at nearly twice the rate of boys by age 14 and, by age 17, more than half of girls will quit playing sports altogether.

The majority of young women Gatorade spoke to told them that they decided to drop out of a sport because they didn’t see a future for themselves in it and wanted to prioritize their time on school or other extracurriculars instead. Many girls did not see a way to balance both school and sports -- particularly if they didn’t think they’d end up playing professionally -- when, in fact, sports are known to help improve girls’ confidence, perseverance and other important skills necessary to succeed academically and professionally.

Play Like a Girl is on a mission to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential by providing girls ages 9-13 access to sport and physical activity. Through our signature program Play Like a Girl Clubs, girls in 6-8th grades are exposed to a sampling of sport and physical activity in a fun and friendly environment with the support of volunteer coaches, teammates and role models.

Club girls also deepen their love of sports and gain exposure to important STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts in sports while learning about exciting sports careers from female professionals at leading businesses and professional sports teams. These experiential learning opportunities are designed to bring out the best in our girls, allowing them to see the world of possibilities awaiting them beyond the field of play.

The Play Like a Girl Board of Directors is made up of 14 members, including five new members who serve areas across the organization’s expanded footprint. Help us welcome these new members to our team; they are:

  • Celeste Bell, Senior Director, Recruiting and Special Projects, MLB Advanced Media
  • Adrienne Jordan, Director, Project and Risk Management, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee
  • Leigh Lovett, Associate Brand Manager, Mars Petcare US
  • Sara Toussaint, Vice President, Sponsorship Marketing, Wells Fargo
  • Daniel Werly, Managing Partner, Sievert Werly LLC

Rewriting the Rules and Making History

Mind over matter

Everything we do at Play Like a Girl is about rewriting the rules and making history in women's sports. This year, we partnered with the Women Sports Film Festival and Belmont University Athletics to host an empowerment summit to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Using the power of film, storytelling and conversations, attendees were inspired by and gained practical skills from women athletes, sports journalists and executives in the sports industry.

The two-day event kicked off with a public screening of the award-winning documentary film Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw. Mind/Game tells the compelling story of basketball phenom Chamique Holdsclaw from her rise to sports stardom to her struggle with mental illness.

Chamique, who demonstrates strength and resilience like a champ, led a post-film panel discussion and Q & A session with our girls following the film. She also shared pivotal moments in her basketball career, highlighting the moment just last week when she received notification of her selection for the 2018 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

More than body parts

On Day 2, we talked about the real impact that sport can have in a young woman's life. Women executives from local sports leagues and teams joined us for a panel discussion on their rise in a male-dominated field and offered tips for finding our places at the table and ensuring that we bring other women along.

Alex Jones, philanthropist and wife of Tennessee Titan Ben Jones shared how she harnesses her passion for sport to do good in the lives of Nashville youth. The expectant mother talked about the importance of young athletes finding a cause that means something to them and getting dirty supporting the people attached to the cause.

Pro softball outfielder A.J. Andrews headlined the conference with an inspirational TED-style talk on body image and confidence, using stunning photos from her ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue photoshoot as a backdrop. In August 2016, A.J. became the first woman to win a Gold Glove. Known for acrobatic catches that she's been honing since her youth, she shared with the girls the importance of a strong sense of and love for self.

A.J. loves looking fabulous. She even wears makeup during games. But she never allows her beauty or love for beautiful things to adversely impact her performance on the field. In fact, she goes all out for the ball, whether it makes her look silly or whether her face gets stuck in the mud and she comes out looking crazy. Instead, she picks herself up, fixes her hair and hits the outfield all over again.

Being very intentional about the content and messaging we conveyed, we planned every detail of this conference to be inspirational as well as aspirational. For example, every session and panel discussion was moderated by Nashville's leading women in sports media: Madison Blevins, Dawn Davenport and Jessica Bliss.

A future in the big leagues

We know that girls need to see themselves in the future. Upon arrival to Belmont's campus, they were greeted with outdoor directional signage reading “This Way to Change the Game,” “This Way to Your Future,” and “This Way to Make Your Play” that immediately set the tone for the summit experience.

An inspiring quote from A.J. also met the girls at check-in where they received their own personalized badge, custom lanyard, a custom #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL button and Sharpie. The badge, also a keepsake, features a soft-touch finish that allowed girls to capture autographs throughout the weekend.

A series of empowering messages and phrases adorned products such as t-shirts and buttons. On-theme buttons with phrases such as “Game Changer” and “Girls Rule the World” were also available at several places throughout the event, providing a fun—and social-media-friendly—keepsake of the day. The girls (and some parents too!) added the buttons to their lanyards, which were also branded with the #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL hashtag.

Several VIP signing and photo ops throughout the summit reinforced the event’s message of confidence and empowerment. Near the entrance, a step-and-repeat with the Play Like a Girl logo and our signature exclamation point featured the #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL hashtag which was used to promote social media sharing. We even designed two custom geofilters to generate Snapchat buzz, letting guests tell people in the surrounding area about the summit while allowing them to share where they were and what they were doing.

The 2018 theme “My Game. My Rules.” was highlighted and our custom button by the same name was distributed throughout the weekend. The girls even took their love of sports to the next level with a 20-minute rockout workout fitness experience with POUND Pro Allie Lamb and her squad. And one of our own team members, Nailah Ellis Timberlake, closed the conference with a powerful charge to the girls, announcing our 2018 “Game On!” campaign.

Celebrating the wins together

The Summit was created to celebrate the stories of women in sports who have paved the way for the next generation of game-changing women, and further our founding belief that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women who have the confidence to stand on their own.

Our goal for this year's conference was to not only amplify the issues by calling out what is and isn't working in sports and society, but also to provide actionable tools for girls’ advancement at school, on the field and in their communities and the world around them.

We wanted the girls in attendance to see themselves in the future, and we succeeded.


Brand Refresh Signals Revolution

Nonprofit Leader Prepares Next Generation of Female Athletes for
Success On and Off the Field

NASHVILLE, February 1, 2018 -- Play Like a Girl today announced the launch of its new visual identity and brand campaign, Game On!, conveying the organization’s desire to help girls realize their full potential through sport participation and active living.

The new branding supports Play Like a Girl’s strategic push to keep girls, and their needs, at the forefront of their plans to build a pipeline of diverse, talented and motivated women athletes in the workforce. Underpinning the brand positioning is a set of core values, among them commitment and loyalty to keeping girls in the game, a collaborative spirit, “seeing the best in every girl” and believing that by exposing girls to sport they will find success beyond the field of play.

Play Like a Girl President and CEO Dr. Kimberly Clay said its brand is much more than a logo or tagline. “We’re strategically rethinking how we present ourselves to stakeholders in all areas of our work, ensuring our actions match our words and creating experiences that improve girls’ lives,” she said. “We want to define ourselves by giving girls in need the opportunity to play on a team and gain the confidence they need to stand on their own.”

Play Like a Girl Marketing Co-Chair, Rachel White (Sales Manager, WeWork) said the organization’s brand strategy was influenced by internal and external research — like the findings in the Ernst & Young survey of global female leaders released in 2015 — that continues to point to sport as a significant factor in advancing women at all levels.

“The fact that sport is a source of motivation for women is not a big surprise to us, but we feel that Play Like a Girl has the unique opportunity to help girls harness some of the natural properties of sport early in life so they can better control their professional lives,” said White. “That’s clearly what the next generation girl needs from us and we’re confident in our ability to step up and provide programs and services that will set her on a path to lifelong success—even beyond the field of play. So it is ‘game on’ for Play Like a Girl.”

Evolving the brand identity

The new brand offers a richer articulation of the organization’s mission and vision, and uses a simplified spectrum of vibrant colors and sub-brands to reflect the diverse backgrounds of the Play Like a Girl community. The most prominent part of the new brand identity is Play Like a Girl’s new brand mark, which represents the motion and flow of a young female athlete’s life and learning. It also tells the story of young women working together as a team to achieve their goals and create better lives for themselves. The brand tagline, ‘Inspiring Play. Unlocking Potential.’ captures the essence of that transformation.

The new brand also prominently features an exclamation mark representing the “I” in “G!RL” in its brand name, a symbol of Play Like a Girl’s commitment to turn the schoolyard taunt “you play like a girl” into a declaration of pride that rallies girls together everywhere. Ultimately, it is a symbol of the organization’s promise to help girls become unstoppable women.

The evolved brand identity, including the most comprehensive brand design system ever introduced within Play Like a Girl, will be rolled out to all Play Like a Girl products, communications, and experiences, starting with the Play Like a Girl Summit later this month, and across the organization beginning in the spring. The new identity and brand positioning will be used in advertising to promote a national rollout of a newly-packaged Play Like a Girl Clubs program, the organization’s active play toolkits and tipsheets, community outreach and events, among others.

New marketing supports launch

The Game On! campaign features five young girls, Maiya, Kendra, Jade, Amber and Trinity, ranging in age from 10 to 14, who star in the campaign images which all provoke a feeling of strength, confidence and pure joy. Whether it is the confidence girls gain from playing on a team like Maiya who plays a different sport each season or the incredible leadership and social skills a shy homeschool student like Amber gets from softball, the campaign celebrates the power of sport to unlock girls’ potential.

Game On! will debut as part of promotions for the third annual Play Like a Girl Summit in Nashville on February 16-17, 2018. The print ads, which will launch on International Women’s Day in March, feature the hero campaign image of Cecelia Townes, an Atlanta-based attorney and member of Play Like a Girl’s Board of Directors, with the five girls. In addition to print, the campaign spans radio, digital and social. New radio spots debut in several markets across the organization’s national footprint in August, expanding to a broader digital advertising push in mid-August.

Play Like a Girl is aiming to create an environment of girl empowerment and positive social engagement. Using the hashtag #gameon followed by a name, a girl’s mother, father, teammate, mentor or coach can issue a call to action for social messages of encouragement and love to any girl in need of positive support, cheering her on through the power of positive affirmation.

“Girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys by age 14, and as an organization, we should be there to encourage girls to stay in sports and reap the long-term, personal benefits whether they go “pro” in sport or in science,” said Clay. “Our desire is for our donors, partners and participants to see Play Like a Girl as a game changer for girls and women in sport.”


About Play Like a Girl
Play Like a Girl is a national 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 2004. Our mission is to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential by providing girls ages 9-13 an opportunity—and in many cases, their only chance—to participate in sport and physical activity. We offer programs and resources designed to transform girls’ motivation into an “I am unstoppable” attitude. It is our goal to help girls everywhere find the courage to do things beyond the field of play that they never thought possible. We believe that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women who have the confidence to stand on their own. For more information, visit, and join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @iplaylikeagirl.