Ripped shirts, punctured balls and missed marketing opportunities!
I enjoy football, (soccer), I do, but only when played fluidly, cleanly and with passion. Some games in Euro 2016 have demonstrated that, others less so. One such game unfolded on Sunday with the eagerly awaited meeting of neighbours Switzerland and France. It turned out to be quite a disappointing match (0:0), but for one thing: from very early in the match the Swiss shirts kept ripping apart, even with the slightest tug. Four or five players had to change shirts, as these tears were not small; there were huge swathes of material hanging off their bodies.
Before we blame the French players, they tugged at shirts no more than any other team in the tournament. We were witnessing a manufacturer's quality problem literally unravelling before our eyes. I’m sure Puma’s phone lines were ablaze the following morning, as a quality problem on a world stage isn’t great, especially from the Swiss national team with a nation’s reputation for quality and precision to protect.
A modest buzz appeared on Twitter during the match with one or two high profile fans commenting on the ripped shirts – but nothing, not even a tweet from any of the major suppliers, not even an amusing defence from Puma.
Surely this is major a marketing opportunity for Adidas, Nike et al. Oh wait a second, not so fast, an Adidas match ball punctured too, that leaves Nike? Hello?
Seriously, when your target is talking, listen and respond – be humble, self-depreciating even, amusing certainly; it’s a golden opportunity to win your consumers back or win new ones.
Be prepared, be responsive, have a plan in place and empower your digital team to do their stuff.
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