Football Fever

Football fever has once again gripped the nation! And that includes us here at Fever as well.

And yes. It is coming home.

In this blog, we wanted to give our views on how the England PR and social team has succeeded in helping make the current crop of talent the most likeable in a generation (alongside them being actually really good at football).  As well as some other cool campaigns to (football) boot.

In years gone by the England team’s tournament set-up has been marred by stories of WAGS (the ultimate huns), bickering, boredom and egos but the tone could not be more different in recent years with Southgate and the media team building an endearing image of the young squad we can all get behind.

From day one, the squad has been positioned as a tight knit group who are delighted to be there representing their country together. The squad’s arrival at St George’s Park was akin to taxis pulling up to departure lounge for a lad’s holiday and installed a feeling that the players were excited to be involved in representing their country. This sense of fun and excitement has continued with videos from inside training showing a playful togetherness – a far throw from the serious shots of drills and fitness runs shown on news packages of yesteryear.

And what’s more fun than memes?! We need to talk about the memes. Not only has the England camp continued to supply the very best inflatable Unicorn content out there, they’ve even gone to the trouble of supplying the cut out copies so you can make your own. This kind of content means social media buzz is much less about the football itself and more about venerating our heroes and enjoying the ride – a huge step change.

Throughout the tournament the team has maintained a connection with the nation through the daily EE #LionsDen series, Official England Podcast and Diary Room. Not only does this keep the players connected with the nation, it brings the fans along on the journey – keeping them up to date with content and insight from the summer football holiday you wish you’d been invited on.

We might not be there is person, but the squad has been given the chance to engage with us as a fanbase. Whether it’s Jadon Sancho showing his appreciation of wild celebrations, Raheem Sterling meeting a community group from his boyhood area or Jordan Henderson connecting with a fan on Zoom for #ThankYouDay. The squad has been given an opportunity to build an affinity with the fanbase – something we first saw in 2018 but which has since become a key feature of why this team is so loved by the nation.

The PR and social team in the England camp has hit the vibe just right, creating an endearing image of a squad built on friendships with an excitement to be involved in the process of bringing it home. Is it dusty in here? I’m getting all sniffly.

Outside the England camp we’ve seen lots of brands jumping on the public mood with some brilliant campaigns that, like the squad itself, feel inclusive, up to date and right for these rocky times. Here is the Fever pick of the best out there…

Nike and The Athletic collaborating to create Unwritten, for example. The Unwritten platform offers six young footballing writers the opportunity to make their voices heard during the tournament on matters of inclusivity and progress. With a brief to make the unheard heard and the unwritten written, the campaign is a fantastic way to give underrepresented voices in the game a platform while also helping new and budding writers.

The Migration Museum, based in Lewisham has put together a fantastic campaign entitled Football Moves People. The aim of the campaign is to highlight how migration has helped shape the beautiful game. All of the 24 nations competing at this year’s Euros have players in their squads currently playing outside of their home countries, while more than half of the England squad have at least one parent or grandparent born outside the UK. The digital and out of home campaign is running across the UK for the duration of the European Championships.

One of its most stand-out pieces of content, and one that definitely sticks in our minds, is the England starting XI without immigration. The resulting team comprises of Pickford, Stones, Mount and Foden – don’t think it’s coming home with that line up!

And of course, we couldn’t finish up a Fever football blog without mentioning our own football work…Toshiba’s fantastic work (if we do say ourselves) with Alexa and Clive Tyldesley ahead of the tournament this summer. To promote Toshiba’s Alexa Built-In TV range and to help settle any pre-tournament arguments, Clive recorded answers to 25 commonly asked football questions, so fans could get live insights via Alexa on their Toshiba TV before and during the games – read all about it here.

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