Paddy Power is back again with a new controversial marketing campaign titled ‘Save Our Shirt’, calling football shirt sponsors to keep kits commercially clean returning the football kits to their old glory days.
The campaign hit the headlines when Huddersfield Town revealed their 2019/20 season kit, featuring a Paddy Power branded sash covering most of the front of the shirt. It sparked outrage amongst fans who as you can imagine fans didn’t take the new kit too well online. The players kicked off their friendly against Rochdale in the ‘new’ kit, prompting fans to chant “Stand up if you hate the kit”.
This was all part of a PR stunt between the club and sponsor, alongside creative agency VCCP. Huddersfield Town later confirmed that despite signing Paddy Power as an official sponsor, the club’s real kit will not feature any branded logo.
Traditionally, sponsors are entitled to use the front of the kits for advertising, with more than half of all teams in England’s top two divisions being sponsored by bookmakers for the upcoming season.
This campaign is part of Paddy Power’s efforts to highlight examples of football clubs changing the heritage of a club to fit the demands of new sponsors and owners. Last year, West Bromwich introduced a boiler as their new club mascot to satisfy their new sponsors demands. The Save Our Shirt campaign takes advantage of these absurd trends to generate brand awareness.
More recently, Paddy Power has announced that Motherwell FC, Newport County, Southend United and Macclesfield Town has joined the #saveourshirt campaign further spreading awareness to fans across different football leagues.
After just over a week, the announcement of Paddy Power’s intention to ‘unsponsor’ Huddersfield Town alone has generated 30,000 likes and 7,000 retweets and counting with various tabloids and news outlets covering news on the campaign as football clubs continue to join the movement. Only time will tell how successful this campaign can be but now there are lots of reasons to be optimistic for Paddy Power.