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Making Football Creative.

We are Play.

Play is the creative home of Football brand and creative designer Niall Smillie. My focus is on specialising in audience centred creative for organisations in the Football space.

Play was founded on a simple principle - do what you love and be the best at it.

Established from a passion for the sport, I have a long, happy history with the Football world, it’s where I'm from and what I know best. 

I am a multi-disciplinary creative specialist, I mix fresh perspectives on Football with the wisdom of experience and commercial acumen. 

My ultimate goal revolves around empowering Football brands. Helping them to flourish and cultivate their visual language, all while forging a profound connection with their audience — one that truly strikes a chord.

In Football, your first touch can be the difference between success and failure. The same is true when communicating with your audience. From players, clubs, leagues, associations and sponsors, to brands, fan groups, foundations and beyond, my aim is to collaborate with people that have bold ideas and brave hearts.



I have a proven track record of turning ideas into commercially and creatively successful offerings, through focused design, industry knowledge and an understanding of your audience.

Football has no borders and neither do I, working with brands and businesses across the world. A language understood globally, Football is rooted in culture, in people and in places. Stories like these drive me as a creative — bringing together discussions and concepts that can change how we think, understand and look to the future of Football.


Why Play?

I am a specialist that exclusively operates solely in the Football industry. Partnering with me offers numerous benefits for organisations and individuals, including industry-specific expertise, customised solutions, and efficient communication. My focused and tailored approach leads to more impactful projects, better results, and a competitive advantage within the Football space.

Key advantages of partnering with Play:

  • In-depth industry knowledge: I possess a deep understanding of the Football industry, encompassing industry trends, target audiences, and the unique challenges faced by Football businesses. This expertise enables me to create highly relevant and effective solutions.
  • Customised solutions: My niche focus on Football allows me to provide highly customised solutions tailored to your brand's specific needs. With a keen awareness of what works and what doesn't, ensuring that your creative projects are developed to achieve your objectives successfully.
  • Efficient communication: My familiarity with the Football space facilitates smoother communication and collaboration, leading to quicker project turnarounds and minimised chances of misunderstandings.
  • Domain-specific creativity: With my niche focus, I excel at developing creative ideas that deeply resonate with your target audience. My understanding of the industry's nuances and preferences results in more impactful brand awareness and engaging creative content.
  • Established industry connections: Over time, I have built strong networks within the Football industry. This allows me to leverage the reach and impact of your projects effectively.
  • Proven track record: I boast a large portfolio of successful projects within the Football space (which you can have a look at here), showcasing my understanding of market dynamics and ability to deliver results.
  • Competitive advantage: My specialised knowledge and creativity can give your brand a competitive edge. Whether it's positioning your club, association, product, or service uniquely within the market, we help set you apart from competitors.


Major honours.

An award-winning team, I have lifted various trophies in my career on and off the pitch:

Football Business Awards x 1
World Brand Design Society Award x 1
Marketing Star Awards - Chairman’s Award
The Roses Awards x 2
Scottish Design Awards x 20
NODS Award x1
Antalis Review Award x 1
ICAD x 3
McNaughton Review Award x 4

Selection is key, so get your team to reach out and arrange a pre-season friendly.