Viral Video & Citroën Tie-In Launches Arsenal’s New Kit

As one football season draws to a climax, another kicks off. As the Premier League enters its final week, clubs begin unveiling their new kits for next year.


On 7 May Stoke City revealed its new adidas away strip for 2012/13, while Arsenal’s new Nike home kit was launched with a viral called ‘Target Practice’.



The online film features top scorer and captain Robin van Persie (despite speculation over the Dutchman’s future at the club), alongside a slew of other stars including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Laurent Koscielny, Wojciech Szczęsny, Jack Wilshere and manager Arsene Wenger.


The tongue-in-cheek video shows the players engaging in target practise at the club’s indoor training complex in the new home kit.


In addition to featuring balls skills and shooting accuracy, what narrative there is features Polish goalkeeper Szczesny repeatedly prevented from joining in with his team-mates’ japes and eventually blasting a ball on to the roof of manager Wenger’s car.


The vehicle itself, a Citroen DS3 with a target-like Arsenal logo on its roof, is part of a recent partnership between the club and the French automotive brand which is Arsenal’s official automotive partner.


The launch campaign, which also included the usual PR-driven launch event, includes a competition offering fans a chance to win the Citroen DS3 featured in the kit shoot video (which was also parked in the club’s flagship Armoury Store from 8 May for the official shop kit launch) simply by pre-ordering the kit direct through the official www.arsenaldirect.com site.


The relationship between the club and Citroën continues the work done last month for the brand’s DS5 model which was promoted in the UK via an unusual three-way combination of sport, culture and motoring. The car brand linked up with Arsenal and the English National Ballet for an innovative campaign.


This initiative saw Arsenal players train alongside ballet dancers in a series of videos running under the strapline ‘The Refined, Redefined’.


‘With this project, we wanted to take top class footballers, renowned for their refined style of football, and put them into a new environment that would redefine their sporting talents and bring together two contrasting worlds with individuals who are all at the top of their game.” explains Jules Tilstone, Marketing Director at Citroën UK.


This April campaign opened with a 90-second online ‘making of’ film video seeded via the Citroën UK Facebook channel. A series of later films and a TVC followed as the integrated initiative rolled out across various channels.




Other elements of this latter DS5 campaign included a Cinemagraphs moving photograph initiative.



The new Nike kit itself adds a blue hoop neck and sleeve detail to the classic red and white main colours – inspired by the home kit socks worn in the 1930s under legendary manager and modernising tactician Herbert Chapman, the founding father of modern Arsenal.


Further shirt details include the outer back neck graphic which references the ‘WM’ team formation that Chapman pioneered, along with the inner back graphic which reads ‘Victoria, Concordia, Crescit’ (the Club’s motto since 1948 – ‘Victory through Harmony’).


Theo Walcott said: “The players always get excited about trying on kits for the first time, and this one doesn’t disappoint,’ said Walcott. ‘Arsenal is a club with an incredible history and to see this recognised in such a classy and modern kit is brilliant.”


Oxlade-Chamberlain echoed this point of view saying: “It’s quite a historic element to the kit if you look back to the 30s and part of the club crest so it is nice to have it back.”


At the launch kit partner Nike said they had invested substantial time in analysing athletes from across the word to modify the ergonomic fit of the kit. Explaining that the 2012/13 shirt features a double knit construction which has 210% more stretch and is 21% stronger than fabric used in previous Nike kits.


Additional design details that contribute to these improvements include lightweight breathable crests, laser cut ventilated holes and amplified seam T bars for added strength.


The kit, which will be used for two seasons, is available to pre-order from Club stores and online at www.arsenaldirect.com. Those ordering the kit from an official Arsenal retail channel will receive a limited edition collector’s box and back pack (while stocks last).


It will be available in all stores from 7 June.




While the viral launch tactic is perhaps less innovative than some other recent notable new kit campaigns (such as Scotland’s augmented reality approach and Manchester City’s EA in-videogame campaign), the ongoing tie-up work with Citroën (and the English National Ballet) ensures that this launch strategy is interesting to sponsorship professionals.


Particular in terms of seeking interesting ways to animate the sponsor and team relationships and exploring shared areas, values and synergies between partners organisations


For fans however, all the cyber chat has been dominated by three subjects.


Firstly, the controversy and split opinion over the new ‘blue’ elements.


Secondly, amusement at Szczesny’s wooden acting.


Thirdly, speculation over whether Walcott’s dead balls skills are real or the result of CGI jiggery-pokery.




Official Club Kit Launch Press Release






Arsenal & Citroën Tie-Up Facebook Campaign


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