LGBT advocacy nonprofits Athlete Ally and All Out launched the Principle 6 Campaign, inspired by the Olympic Charter, as a way for athletes, fans and supporters to celebrate the Olympic principles of nondiscrimination and call for an end to Russia’s anti-gay laws at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Campaign objectives included: reach 10 million people globally to raise awareness of human rights issues facing the LGBT community; recruit and prepare 50 Olympians and professional athletes as campaign spokespersons; pressure corporations to reevaluate their sponsorship of the Olympics in light of human rights violations at Sochi; and pressure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to uphold Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter in the future.
We positioned the campaign as protecting the original spirit of the Olympic movement—founded on the values of building peace and brotherhood among nations—and our messaging was simple: the IOC must stand by its own principles.
Facing a difficult media environment, we trained our efforts on Olympics sports reporters, prominent columnists who had covered LGBT rights issues, prominent TV/cable shows in the U.S. market, and international wire services in over a dozen countries. We also focused on European capitals where the media could influence the IOC, and placed P6 representatives at all IOC press conferences in Zurich and Moscow.
The IOC announced that future host cities would be contractually obligated to adhere to Olympic principles of nondiscrimination.
The campaign generated 224 unique media hits and 219,372,100 media impressions. Articles appeared in 50+ countries.
On Day 1 of the Olympics, Google launched a Doodle depicting the Winter Games with a gay rights rainbow flag in the image.
Dozens of athletes, celebrities, models and influencers changed their Twitter avatars to the P6 logo, including Martina Navratilova, Julianne Moore, Olivia Wilde, Sean Avery and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.
Prominent media hits included: The New York Times (4 articles), The Wall Street Journal, USA Today (5 articles), AP (3 articles), Reuters (2 articles), The New Yorker (4 articles), MSNBC (various), CBS Face the Nation, CNN Anderson Cooper 360 (2 segments), The Washington Post (3 articles), Los Angeles Times (2 articles), CNN.com (6 articles), Time,com, Bloomberg News, Bloomberg TV, ESPN Outside the Lines, ESPN.com (2 articles), Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! News (3 articles) and Huffington Post (6 articles).