World-class players Megan Rapinoe, Yuki Nagasato, Sam Kerr and Asisat Oshoala have joined the team sheet to help the LEGO Group champion the way girls’ play – both on and off the pitch.
The new Play Unstoppable campaign follows research that found girls feel less restrained by typical gender biases in play than boys – 82% of girls think it’s OK for girls to play football and boys to practice ballet, compared to only 71% of boys.
The limitless potential of girls when they can play without boundaries is celebrated in a new LEGO® Icons of Play set featuring minifigures of all four pioneering footballers.
Billund, Denmark - May 30th, 2023: The LEGO Group has launched Play Unstoppable, a new campaign focused on celebrating the endless potential of girls when they are given opportunities to play without limits. To help champion what girls can achieve when they have the space and freedom to play openly and fiercely, some of the biggest change makers in Women’s Football have joined the team in support of this movement: former USA Women’s team Captain Megan Rapinoe, the multi-talented Yūki Nagasato, world-class striker Sam Kerr and global superstar Asisat Oshoala.
Celebrating game-changing play
Play Unstoppable aims to challenge stereotypes around play and creative building, and encourage girls to unlock the freedom they need to play without boundaries.
Research commissioned by the LEGO Group and carried out by the Geena Davis Institute in 2021*, found that girls feel increasingly confident to engage in all types of play and creative activities, but remain held back by society’s ingrained gender stereotypes.
It found that girls feel less restrained by and are less supportive of typical gender biases than boys when it comes to creative play (74% of boys vs. 62% of girls believe that some activities are just meant for girls, while others are meant for boys), and they are more open to different types of creative play compared to what their parents and society typically encourage with football one of the key differentiators - 82% of girls believe it’s OK for girls to play football and boys to practice ballet, compared to only 71% of boys.
“Play, both on and off the pitch, helps children explore who they are, build confidence and feel like part of a team. It’s one of the reasons why women’s football is one of the fastest growing sports globally, with crowd attendance records being shattered regularly and over 30 million girls now playing the game worldwide. But despite the talent of female players and the excitement of the game finally being recognized on the global stage, there are still many stereotypes that surround girls, their hobbies and the way they play that we need to break down. I hope that seeing women like me achieve their dreams inspires girls to believe they are unstoppable when they get to do the things they love,” said Sam Kerr. “I’m excited to be working alongside the LEGO Group to celebrate the many dimensions of play for girls and to show that it’s time for the world to get ready for girls, allowing them to play openly and fiercely - and free from stereotypes.”
To advocate for girls to continue to break down the barriers that define how they play and encourage them to play without limits, the LEGO Group is partnering with:
- The U.S. Soccer Foundation to open three permanent mini-football pitches across the country to ensure greater access to limitless play opportunities for girls.
- Football Australia, through Legacy ’23 and Our Game, to create a platform for community to challenge gender stereotypes in football, advocate for play without limits and encourage all girls to play unstoppable.
World-Class Football Role Models
To mark the unstoppable power of women’s football and the incredible sporting talent of Megan Rapinoe, Yūki Nagasato, Sam Kerr and Asisat Oshoala, the LEGO Group is launching a new football themed set featuring all four players and invites girls to explore their love of ‘the Beautiful Game’ through LEGO play.
The 899-piece LEGO® Icons of Play set brings the strong sense of community and team spirit of football to life. The vibrant football stadium set features a line-up of 15 minifigures featuring 5 players, 8 supporters, 1 coach and 1 referee so fans of all ages can kick-off alongside minifigures of their football heroes, cheer from the stands or celebrate their victory on the winner’s podium. The set even features a VAR station and referee to help make nail biting play decisions, and a moveable scoreboard so builders can play to win or reflect what they see in live games they are following.
How Play Moves Us
Off the pitch, an inspiring film called ‘Play Moves Us’ will explore the possibilities that are unlocked when girls have the freedom to Play Unstoppable – in whatever passion they choose to focus on. All four players are joined by girls from around the world to explore building, fashion, gaming and music, and discuss the importance of playing without boundaries. The short film will be available on LEGO.com and supported by each of the players on their channels.
“When they have the space and freedom to express themselves fully, girls are an unstoppable force in the world. They are playful inventors, curious scientists, daring dreamers and bold adventurers – and that’s exactly what Play Unstoppable is celebrating. For over 65 years, the LEGO Brick has provided endless play possibilities for all children, allowing girls to dream, build and become anything they desire even when society tells them otherwise,” said Julia Goldin, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, the LEGO Group. “Women’s football is a powerful reminder of what girls can do when they break free from stereotypes – our four footballers are players at the top of the game. As strong women on and off the pitch, they are inspirations for girls everywhere to realise their potential.”
Play Unstoppable demonstrates the endless possibilities of the LEGO System in Play. All Play Unstoppable content, including an introduction to the campaign, the ‘Play Moves Us’ film, Girls Play related articles and details on the minifigures, will be hosted on a dedicated Play Unstoppable page on LEGO.com.
The LEGO Icons of Play set will be available from June 6th from LEGO.com/icons-of-play and LEGO stores globally priced at €99.99/$99.99/£89.99.
Notes To Editors
.* The research surveyed 6,844 parents and children aged 6-14 years old in China, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and USA in 2021.
FURTHER PRODUCT INFORMATION: LEGO® ICONS OF PLAY UNSTOPPABLE MINIFIGURES
- Product code: 40634
- Product name: LEGO® Icons of Play
- Piece count: 899
- Measurements: The half soccer field with goal and VAR station measures over 7.5 in. (20 cm) high and 14 in. (36 cm) wide
- Price: €99.99/$99.99/£89.99
About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.
The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words LEg GOdt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. However, its products are now sold in more than 130 countries worldwide.
For more news from the LEGO Group, information about our financial performance and responsibility engagement, please visit www.LEGO.com/aboutus.
About the Players
Megan Rapinoe is a two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist. A vocal leader on and off the pitch, Megan helped lead the USWNT to the 2019 Women’s World Cup Championship, scoring some of the biggest goals of the tournament. Megan took home the tournament’s two top honors – the Golden Boot for top scorer and the Golden Ball for the best player in the tournament. She is also a New York Times bestselling author, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and Presidential Medal of Freedom award recipient.
Yuki Nagasato plays for the Japan women’s national team and is a midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars, USA. She is also the first female footballer to play for the first team of a Japanese men’s club. Yuki was part of the Japan's winning 2011 Women’s World Cup team, also competing in the 2007 and 2015 tournaments, and was part of the squad for the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. As well as being a star on the pitch, Yuki is also a talented drummer, actor, model and artist.
Sam Kerr plays for the Australia women’s national team and is a striker for Chelsea F.C, UK. She made her national debut at 15 years of age and went on to be named the team’s captain in 2019 – a position she holds today. She scored five goals at the 2019 World Cup and was a finalist for the Best Women’s Player at the 2019 FIFA Football Awards as well as being a Ballon d’Or nominee. Sam is also the author of the "Kicking Goals" children’s book series.
Asisat Oshoala plays for the Nigeria women’s national team and is a striker for FC Barcelona, Spain. She is one of the best players in the world and has been chosen as African Player of the Year on five occasions (2019, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2022). In 2014 she won the Ballon d’Or and the Golden Shoe at the U20 World Cup, she was also named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2015 and was a Ballon d’Or nominee in 2021. Last year, Asisat launched the Asisat Oshoala Academy’ (AOA) in Lagos as part of her mission to provide access to sport and education for young girls in her community.