Week in Sportbiz: English football puts the boot into Twitter and Facebook; Rolex deal shows value of golf tours’ alliance; dystopian snack marketing
It is rare to see all of English football sing from the same hymnsheet.
But that was in evidence today as the game’s leading bodies joined forces to demand more action from Twitter and Facebook against racist, sexist and threatening behaviour.
The Premier League, Football Association, English Football League, Women’s Professional Game, players’ union the PFA, League Managers’ Association, referees’ body PGMOL and campaigners Kick It Out all signed a letter addressed to Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
It calls on the social media giants tighten sign-up requirements to ensure users are traceable and filter posts for anti-discriminatory content.
Football’s top brass have been moved to act by a stream of incidences of players receiving racist or sexist abuse and threats on Twitter and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
“Recent weeks have seen the levels of vivious, offensive abuse from users of your services aimed at footballers and match officials rise even further,” the letter says.
“We write to ask that for reasons of basic human decency you use the power of your global systems to bring this to an end.”
Marcus Rashford, England team-mate Reece James, his sister Lauren James, of Manchester United, and referee Mike Dean have been among those singled out for abuse.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden warned earlier this month that he was “prepared to get tough” with Twitter and Facebook.
Dowden added that the government could fine social media companies “up to 10 per cent of global turnover” if they failed to act.
Facebook this week announced bans for repeat offenders on Instagram. It also said in a statement today: “We don’t want hate and racism on our platforms and remove it when we find it.”
The verdict from football’s authorities? “Far more is needed to drive change,” they said in their letter.
Rolex in new Ryder Cup deal
A new union between the European Tour and the PGA Tour is already bearing fruit.
Rolex was this week announced as a worldwide partner of the Ryder Cup.
The luxury watch brand has previously sponsored the European team but has expanded its association in light of the new co-operation between golf’s two main tours.
The alliance is expected to see more world wide sponsors and even more commercial revenue generated by the Ryder Cup – as tipped in City A.M. in 2018.
Lays makes play to fans in lockdown
Brands were always going to have to find ways to tap into the new fan experience in the Covid-19 era.
Snack brand Lays has revealed its efforts in a new campaign around the men’s and women’s Champions League.
Lays’ latest ad sees football fans in a cluster of apartments recreate the collective viewing experience by getting off their sofas and congregating on their balconies to watch a giant Paul Pogba on a big screen.
It’s clever and the premise is nice enough – until you remember the grim, dystopian reality.
Kipchoge gets Nike collection
It may not have been an official world record but that hasn’t diminshed the marketing potential of Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon.
Nike has just released a capsule collection of Kipchoge running gear featuring his initials and 1:59 – a nod to the time achieved under special circumstances in 2019.
Included in the collection are versions of Nike’s infamous AlphaFly, the revolutionary thick-soled running shoe worn by Kipchoge and scores of subsequent record-breakers.
Millwall top Cancer Deadline table
They may be mid-table in the Championship but Millwall can claim to be top of the league for fighting cancer.
The south Londoners finished first in the table of donations compiled by Cancer Deadline Day, an initiative to encourage football fans, players, legends and clubs to give charity while representing their team.
Cancer Deadline Day raised almost £30,000 for eight different charities, over a third of which came from Millwall alone.