Thursday, 19 September 2013

Stonewall and Paddy Power campaign scores with Everton

Everton have become the first Premier League club to support the 'Right Behind Gay Footballers' campaign by gay-rights charity, Stonewall, in association with online bookmaker, Paddy Power.

It's left the Premier League 'disappointed' and complaining, gently I might add, that the charity didn't go directly to them.

Instead, it has worked with rebel footballer extraordinaire, Joey Barton, and controversial master of stunt marketing, Paddy Power, to encourage players and teams to sport rainbow laces this weekend.

The Premier League has, in private, expressed doubts of the suitability of a bookmaker to support this campaign and questioned why it wasn't a part of it.

And that's exactly why it is a great marketing campaign.

Targeted at anti-authority figures such as Barton and Paddy Power, Stonewall has managed to give the brand some street credibility, and juxtaposed this against a Premier League and Football League which it has to be said haven't exactly pioneered gay rights in the league - there are currently no gay footballers in the league, out of 5000...

This has allowed the campaign to have an edge of rebellion and it was a great PR move by Alan Myers and the team at Everton to throw their weight behind it first.

This issue will take generations to fix, a cursory glance at the comments underneath some of the articles is evidence of that, yet the media coverage received at least puts it front of mind and moves the debate on.

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