Good Disruptive Marketing But Who Really Wins?
An interesting and clever marketing campaign was launched on Wednesday 17 July 2019. When Huddersfield Town announced their brand new home shirt. The new design, generally in keeping with Huddersfield’s traditional colours. Had and interesting addition splashed across the chest. Paddy Power’s logo, the newly appointed kit sponsor, was definitely not subtle!
Instantly the subject of outrage. The new kit received wide criticism from supporters as well as the wider football community. Social media and news channels were talking about it. Plenty of free advertising. But Huddersfields supporters hadn’t yet got over the previous season. Being relegated to the Championship was tough. But now their team appeared to have sold their sole as well. Huddersfield Town had handed their brand over to a betting company!
The team wore the clever new kit in a pre-season friendly a few days later. Shortly after Huddersfield had beaten Rochdale 3-1, the Football Association fell for it and got involved. According to their regulations a sponsors logo can not exceed 250 square centimetres on the front of a football shirt.
“We have contacted Huddersfield Town about their 2019/2020 kit to seek their observations.”
Huddersfield revealed the clubs real shirt 48 hours later. Disruptive marketing at its best, but apparently the new shirt was launched as part of a wider campaign. Paddy Power claimed the ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign was an initiative backing a move back towards unbranded football kits. Lets see how that one catches on!
For new kit sponsor Paddy Power, in less than a week their clever disruptive marketing stunt had delivered. They’d gained free publicity worth as much as an entire season. Was this arguably better than having their brand placed legally on the shirt fronts?
Things were nicely rounded off when the 15 unique shirts were auctioned for local charities. Huddersfield players signed each shirt helping to raise almost £30,000. The proceeds went to the club’s own registered charity, the Town Foundation. The Huddersfield Street Kitchen, which provides food and essentials to homeless and Andy’s Man Club. A registered charity based in West Yorkshire that assist men who need help with mental health.