In the early noughties many a football referee demanded “Whats under your shirt?” A memorable time when a striker could emblazon his undershirt with a slogan to communicate his feelings. It could have been a birth, a memorial to the dearly departed or a political statement.
Sadly this ad-hoc messaging is far rarer these days.
The ban of messaged undergarments in 2014 carried the threat of yellow cards and fines to punish players.
I Belong To Jesus
A recently-published book called ‘I Belong To Jesus’ celebrates the boldness and creativity of these players during that period. It is amazing to look back at a time when players could personally express themselves emotionally and politically. A complete difference to current sports stars who operate in a media controlled environment, where they speak in spoon-fed sound-bites.
The days of political statements are gone, such as Robbie Fowler’s support for the Liverpool dockers’ strike in 1997. And the emotional outpouring of Ian Wright’s 2007, Nike-endorsed ‘179 – Just Done It’ T-Shirt – upon becoming Arsenals all-time top scorer.
Memorable and unexpected
Revealing these messages in that environment in such a distinct way was memorable and unexpected. They worked so well at the time.
The term ‘Surprise and Delight’ are two words that are at the heart of experiential marketing. This same principle works for secret events and unexpected stunts. Those who have witnessed a flash-mob; attended a secret event or stumbled upon a spontaneous live stunt have boasted to their friends about the experience. You have felt that “I was there” feeling.
This invokes FOMO ‘fear of missing out’ in those unable to attend. Prompting them to seek out more news from brands, fervently intent not to miss out next time.
We are determined not to miss out and positively hunt out ‘Surprise and Delight’ – Do come and join us.