An initiative by Forsman & Bodenfors Dublin and Allianz to keep children in sport. 

Allianz is a long-standing advocate for Irish sport, sponsoring Gaelic Games and the Irish OIympic and Paralympic movement. 

It is also the largest insurer of Irish schools. Protecting children as they grow up, go to school and play sports. But there’s a problem.  

Research by Sport Ireland paints a stark picture of significant decline in sports participation from primary to secondary school, with one in five children giving up on sport altogether. This is not just a loss of athletic potential but also of the multiple benefits of participation: a sense of community, improved health, life skills and a feeling of joy. 

But the thing is… this drop is a trickle over time, not a mass wave of quitting at once. And the reasons why are different for every child. Meaning that many parents believe it’s just ‘their’ child, and not a wider societal issue. For both boys and girls.  

Allianz and Forsman & Bodenfors Dublin wanted to tackle this issue head on. And so #StopTheDrop was born. 

The creative challenge

Our challenge was clear. How do we solve a problem, when the problem is invisible? 

We make a mountain. One that parents, teachers and coaches can’t ignore.  

Filled with everything from balls, to bats, to bikes, our enormous pile of abandoned equipment dramatises all the broken hopes and dreams of children who had once been so excited about sport. 

To resonate with children and their parents, we focused on the tipping point — the emotionally charged decision to either stay in sports or leave. This relatable moment, especially for those who have recently faced it, became the core of our narrative, which is poignantly relayed by Jess, a young athlete whose frustrations lead her to quit camogie.  

Her feeling of discouragement is etched on her face, and we watch as her decision to abandon sport is played out with every piece of gear she drops along the way.  

As she’s about to drop the last piece of gear, a mountain of discarded equipment is revealed. Jess’ kit bag, helmet and camogie stick are now part of a huge pile. And while her frustration is personal to her, the mass of forlorn equipment tells us that Jess is not alone: many thousands of children have felt that same frustration and made the sad decision to give up on sport altogether. 

More than an ad

#StopTheDrop is more than a campaign; it's a movement. Our first aim was to capture the audience’s attention through a dynamic multimedia strategy encompassing TV, Video On Demand (VOD), social media, and Out-Of-Home (OOH) advertising. 

The next step was to actively engage the community. And that’s where Move2B came in. 

Move2B is a social enterprise run by two sisters from Waterford, Niamh and Orna Murray, whose aim is to highlight and deconstruct the hidden practical and social barriers to sport using applied research. It was the perfect partner for this campaign as it strives to empower and educate young people to stay involved in sports and physical activity. 

It created a robust coaching program endorsed by child psychologists for teachers, coaches and parents to help sustain youth involvement in sports. These are all available on   

The importance of research

Cultural research was vital to the creative process, providing insights into the audience's feelings about sports today. This research informed our campaign's direction, emphasising the importance of participation and the pressures that lead to dropping out. 

We had obstacles. Trying to represent all of the different reasons children quit sports. Filming in the November cold. But we stayed true to our narrative. By focusing on one child's journey and keeping the reason for quitting open to interpretation, we crafted a campaign that parents and coaches could see their own children in. 

Measuring success

The success of the campaign will be measured by lowering the 1 in 5 dropout rate.  Supported by Allianz Ireland's wide-reaching sports sponsorships, we will measure future success by our ability to foster conversations and provide support through the evidence-based coaching resources from Move2B. 

#StopTheDrop is a powerful initiative, and it is one that is perfectly aligned with Forsman & Bodenfors Dublin’s belief in the power of ideas that not only create lasting impressions but also drive positive societal change.  

We want the Irish public to get behind this rallying call and encourage children, of all ages, to continue to play sport in whatever capacity they can. That’s the ultimate measure of success.  

Published 01.03.2024