For National Domestic Violence Awareness month, The Mill teamed up with production company Blonde + Co to create a moving PSA campaign titled #NotAFan.
The fan-focused campaign was launched by The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in the heart of Times Square featuring New York sports teams such as Liberty WNBA player Kiah Stokes, Knicks’ John Starks, The Yankees’ Joe Girardi, Mets’ Jeurys Familia, Rangers’ Rod Gilbert, and Cosmos’ Lucky Mkosana and Giovanni Savarese.
The message is simple: you can be a baseball/basketball/hockey/soccer fan, a Yankees/Mets/Knicks/Liberty/Rangers/Cosmos fan, but NOT A FAN of domestic violence.
Together with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is the first public official in the country to launch a major campaign against domestic violence in sports. As a lifelong advocate against domestic violence, Mark-Viverito has been outspoken about the need for professional sports to develop stronger policies.
Domestic violence is a widespread social problem and professional sports are not immune. When an athlete is involved in an incident, sports fans are often caught in the middle and forced to reconcile their allegiance to a team and their feelings about domestic violence with little direction. This can cause conflict, confusion, and misunderstanding. The #NotAFan campaign provides sports fans with a means to express support for their team, while advocating that domestic violence is unacceptable. Fans don’t have to pick a side.
“We wanted the PSAs to look like commercial spots. Very different from the traditional talking head style PSA we are so used to seeing,” says Jimmy Ferguson, who directed and co-wrote the spots. “We carefully designed the cinematography, editing, color grade and sound design with the intention of creating a cinematic environment.” Glenn Chocky, who edited the campaign says “It was important to craft a story that was familiar to sports fans so we could draw them in. This would be the strongest vehicle to deliver this important message.”
The campaign’s call to action is ‘PURPLE. WEAR IT. SHARE IT.’ asks fans to upload a photo of themselves to social media with a message, ‘I’m a fan of baseball, I’m a fan of XX team but I am #NotaFan of Domestic Violence.’
NCADV Executive Director, Ruth Glenn comments, “We are so very pleased that Melissa Mark-Viverito and these NY teams and their fans are doing their part to raise awareness about domestic violence. Professional sports in this nation are influential and enjoyed by millions. Fans should be encouraged to enjoy organized professional sports, but also understand that this nation still has a domestic violence epidemic… Reaching out to fans and using this opportunity to remind them, is so very appropriate. Estimates range that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men experience domestic violence in their lives. NCADV is #NotAFan and we applaud the efforts of everyone involved in this powerful campaign to raise awareness.”
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito adds, “Domestic violence is something that I’m deeply concerned about and have spent my whole life working to address. #NotAFan aims at giving fans an outlet where they can openly support their teams while expressing their displeasure that domestic violence is unacceptable. I want to thank the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Blonde and Co, Safe Horizon for their commitment to raise awareness about domestic violence and to the New York sports teams for their leadership in speaking out against domestic violence.”
Each one of these poignant spots was graded by The Mill’s New York based colourist Damien Van Der Cruyssen, who worked closely with the Blond + Co team to realize their creative vision and add a cinematic and gritty air to each spot.
Julie Stahl, Founder and President of Blonde + Co and a former sufferer of domestic abuse tells us why this campaign is so important to her and both men and women around the world, “We are so proud to be a part of this project and to help realize the shared vision of the Speaker and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Over 20 years ago, I was in an abusive relationship, but I got out of it and never looked back with the support of some strong women in my life. Domestic violence is frighteningly common and completely unacceptable. That’s why we need to send a strong message to people who are stuck in a cycle of abuse, that we as a society are here to support you. And one day you will be in a position, like I am today, to give back.”
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is the voice of victims and survivors and works as the catalyst for changing society to have zero tolerance for domestic violence. NCADV does this by affecting public policy, increasing understanding of the impact of domestic violence, and providing programs and education that drive change. For more information about NCADV, visit www.ncadv.org.