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SwimToday Campaign Releases New “Sign Language” PSA

8/7/2014

Whether tweeting it, speaking it or even doing sign language to show it, swimming is “the funnest sport there is” according to 10 swimming industry leaders in the SwimToday campaign and age group swimmer Emma Doughty of Rochester, New York. The industry promotional effort to grow participation in swimming released a new Public Service Announcement today called “SwimToday Sign Language” where a young swimmer – 12-year-old Doughty – communicates the tagline of “the funnest sport there is” under water via American Sign Language.

View the new PSA here.

“SwimToday Sign Language” was inspired by an email from a swim parent and is the latest addition to the advertising campaign, which launched in May 2014. The featured swimmer is a USA Swimming member with the Marlins Swim Team in Spencerport, New York. Her dad was motivated by the release of SwimToday and wrote an email to Minneapolis-based ad agency Colle+McVoy, which is the creative agency behind the campaign.


“I just finished watching the commercials that your agency produced, and they are awesome!,” said Michael Doughty, Emma’s dad. “Our daughter's swim coach emailed the links to the whole team. I am writing to you because I have an idea. Maybe I've been watching too much “Mad Men” but here it goes… I think it might be cool to do a commercial with a deaf swimmer signing the dialogue in American Sign Language. I think it would be a cool way to highlight and promote swimming, celebrate the connection between hard work and accomplishment, and acknowledge the deaf community.”

Organizers suggested he film Emma and submit the video, thinking it would make a good tweet or social media update from the @SwimToday account. When the video arrived, it sparked the idea to not only make it a social media update but turn it into a full TV commercial.

The :15 spot will make its national network airing debut Saturday, Aug. 8 as part of the NBC broadcast of the Phillips 66 National Swimming Championships. It aired earlier in the week as part of cable coverage on Universal Sports.

“In swimming, no one is judged by what you look like and what you have,” said Emma. “What matters are your times and your skill.  Your loyalty, your love and your passion matters. In this sport, I can show other people that kids who have disabilities succeed like everyone else."

The SwimToday campaign is endorsed and supported by 10 leading swimming industry partners, including membership organizations, coaches associations, swimsuit and equipment manufacturers, swimming media, and technology partners. The partners include:
  • USA Swimming
  • Arena
  • Speedo
  • TYR
  • Swimming World Magazine
  • American Swimming Coaches Association
  • National Swimming Pool Foundation
  • Colorado Time Systems
  • U.S. Masters Swimming
  • TeamUnify

The campaign was announced earlier this spring. Click here to find the full SwimToday campaign announcement release.

Find more at SwimToday.org and view all the other commercials at SwimToday.org/assets