National League Sponsor Vanarama Marks Kick Off Via Hollywood-Style Wrexham Sign Stunt

Wrexham Hollywood Sign

To promote the start of the National League, the fifth division of the English soccer pyramid, title sponsor Vanarama leveraged the media interest in and fan excitement around Wrexham AFC’s takeover by US movie stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney through a giant outdoor promotional stunt on a hillside overlooking the Welsh market town.

 

The personal and commercial vehicle leasing company teamed up with agency Dark Horses to erect a giant Hollywood-style sign – in the same signature white capital letters – spelling out the word Wrexham.

 

Initially there was plenty of supporter and media speculation that Reynolds, McElhenney, the club and its documentary media partner FX were behind the mystery promo.

 

But when Vanarama posted a video focusing on the site across its digital and social channels on 21 August it was clear that it was the title sponsor of the lowest nationally organised tier of English football that was behind the stunt.

 

 

A statement on the company’s website read: “After watching Wrexham AFC, Ryan Reynolds and Wrexham Council forced to deny their involvement in the ‘WREXHAM’ sign this week as well as seeing the social media frenzy we just couldn’t keep it a secret for much longer! Elite football has had a mixed six months, from the attempted breakaway European Super League (ESL) to England’s incredible run to the final of the Euros. As a long-time sponsor of the National League, we wanted to shine the bright lights of Hollywood on the level of football we love the most! We hope all the fans of the National Leagues enjoy a new lease of life this season back where they belong – on the terraces.”

 

 

Comment:

 

Vanarama actually has something of a history of capturing media attention and the public imagination with stunt-style grand gestures: for example, in 2019 it teamed up with Prostate Cancer UK to change its Title Sponsorship of the league to the ‘MANarama National League’ in a bid to raise awareness of the disease.

 

This campaign won the ‘Event or Competition Sponsorship Award’ at the Sport Industry Awards 2019.

 

Previous Wrexham AFC campaigns linked to the club’s new Hollywood owners include July’s shirt sponsor campaign with TikTok and ‘Welcome To Wrexham’ with FX.

 

 

 

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