You can’t get away from music-led campaigns in the sports space at the moment.
Led by Olympic sponsor activation such as Coca-Cola’s ‘Move To the Beat’, Adidas’ Wretch 32-led ‘TakeTheStage’ and Omega’s ‘ Start Me Up’, now comes Manchester City using Noel Gallagher to launch its new 2012/2013 kit.
City, winners of last season’s Premier League title, and Umbro launched the team’s new kit with Gallagher joining team captain Vincent Kompany for the PR launch.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the launch sees Umbro and City invite fans to come up with ideas to launch the kits. Between the PR launch and when the shirts go on sale (the away kit goes on sale from 14 July, while the home kit on 26 July) a series of ‘Show Your City’ fan launches will be released.
This initiative encourges fans to upload their own creative ideas from the campaign microsite.
These start with pictures captured by music photographer and City fan Kevin Cummins. Cummins is most famous for his photos of iconic Manchester bands such as Joy Division, The Smiths and The Stone Roses and took the shots of Gallagher and Kompany in Belgium for the initial stage of the campaign.
Belgian Kompany surprised music fans at the Rock Werchter music festival in his home country by introducing Gallagher on stage prior to the musician’s performance. The 80,000 strong crowd cheered as the Belgian centreback embraced the musician on the main stage before his set.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany said of the launch event: ‘I always look forward to returning to Belgium but this really was a special occasion and a moment to savour. Noel is obviously a huge star so I was happy to introduce him in front of 80,000 fans in my home country.’
While Gallagher himself commented: ‘The new home kit is pure class. It might be the best one we’ve had in a decade. As modern and radical as it is though, it’s nice to see Umbro keeping our heritage alive in the new away kit. The best dressed defending champions of all time? No doubt.’
This will be the last Umbro kit for City, after the Manchester-based sports brand was dumped in favour of a new six-year kit deal with Umbro’s parent Nike in a deal thought to be worth as much as £12m a year.
The two new shirts take quite different design paths. The home kit keeps City’s familiar sky blue colour and incorporates black detailing and trim which takes influence from the 1969 FA Cup and 1970 League Cup winning uniforms. But the new sway strip goes back to the maroon colour worn by the FA Cup winning teams of 1934 and 1956.
Umbro is almost 90 year old and is the long term kit supplier to the England football team with which it has a contract to 2018.