Uncategorized May 22, 2024

A brilliant example of a corporate that’s bringing its full resources to bear for a cause, is that of rebel. Partnering with Lifeline since 2021, they’ve made a significant financial commitment, initiated campaigns, and leveraged their digital channels, retail outlets, suppliers, and sporting ambassadors to champion mental health and raise funds.

rebel – Australia’s leading sports retailer – believes in the transformative power of sport. To rebel, it’s more than just fitness - it’s about holistic well-being. Sport can build confidence, swim off a bad day and slam dunk stress. They express this belief in three simple words: ‘Sport is Calling’.


As a torchbearer for well-being, it made sense to partner with a leader in mental health – Lifeline. It was a perfect match – both iconic brands, with national reach, serving a young adult audience. Not to mention that ‘Sport is Calling’ neatly aligns to a helpline that answers over 3,000 calls a day from Australians in crisis.

Like any good partnership, both organisations were united on their goals and aspirations.

They were:

  • To create a healthier Australia
  • To demonstrate the positive impact sport has on mental wellness
  • To promote help-seeking behaviour
  • To generate cash for Lifeline to power their telephone, text, and chat services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


rebel’s upfront commitment of $750,000 across three years proved they meant business. In just two years this was surpassed and to date rebel has contributed over $1m to Lifeline. The partners’ tactical goals were also aligned: to illustrate the unifying concept of sport in strengthening mental health, reach new audiences and engage employees and ambassadors.

The ‘Mental Health is a Team Sport’ campaign kicked off in October 2021 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week. It featured sporting greats Mary Fowler and Ellie Carpenter of the Matildas, former NRL player Ian Roberts and GWS Giants player Alicia Eva. The campaign included paid and organic PR and digital media. Together with partners, $590,000 was raised for Lifeline.

It was essential to depict and include everyday people as well as elite athletes, so several rebel staff stepped up to feature in the digital campaign. You can view the campaign here. 

In year two, the campaign evolved and rebel mobilised their retail partners including Nike and Adidas, to help raise funds. rebel ran an in-store activation with $1 per product going to Lifeline. In collaboration with rebel partners and significant customer donations, rebel was able to generate almost $650,000.

This is a brilliant partnership because it demonstrates what’s possible when a company brings all its resources to the cause partnership – not just cash.  It also demonstrates how easy it is to enrol others to jump on board when the cause is topical and when it fits with the corporate brand. rebel partnered with a cause that makes sense to its brand. A cause that deeply resonates with many Australians. rebel made a significant up-front cash commitment and utilised all its resources including 150 retail stores.

Whilst this publicly promoted partnership may be a demonstration of rebel’s commitment to society (the S in ESG[1]), they’re doing much more behind the scenes. They’re making great strides to be more sustainable and minimise their environmental impact. rebel partnered with Game On Recycling to re-purpose sports balls, with drop off bins in store. They’ve partnered with Tread Lightly to recycle sports shoes into mats & playgrounds.

rebel walk the talk when it comes to elevating women in sport, by supporting grassroots participation through to elite athletes, investing across all sporting codes. They sponsor the AFLW, City2Surf Fun Run, and the Matildas.

Diversity and Inclusion is not just a tick the box exercise. rebel have a permanent Pride landing page on their website featuring a range of unisex rainbow products. They also create opportunities and pathways for First Nations communities through investment in Indigenous sporting foundations.

Superb work by all involved: Lifeline, rebel, and its agency Blinc International. 

Hailey Cavill-Jaspers


[1] ESG - Environment, Social, Governance


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