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Somewhere over the rainbow – of pants!

The return of Premier League football next weekend will be met with a whole variety of emotions from ‘At Last!’ to ‘Surely it isn’t time for that yet?’.

 At RDZ we’re neither enthusiastic or depressed at the thought, but what did attract our attention this week was the details of Paddy Power’s attendance at last weekend’s Brighton Pride event and their glorious explosion of 5,000 pairs of rainbow pants into the crowd to challenge the lack of openness on homosexuality in top flight football.

We are all desperately jealous at not having seen this event (and secretly jealous of not being the brains behind such a stunt) but hats off – or should it be pants off – to them for taking such a brave move and putting pressure on the Premier League in such a public way.

The rainbow pants, created specifically for 2018 Pride, were fired into the crowd by a team of ‘Paddy’s Angels’ – winged male models of course!  The point being made was that despite their being more than 1 million (that’s approximately 1 in 50) people in the UK who identify as being LGBTQ, not one of the 500 registered players in the league is openly gay.

Paddy’s Head of Major Brand Activations, Paul Mallon stated, “The world’s best-watched league should reflect the community around it”, adding, “we’re calling on the league to boot itself into 2018, and create a welcoming environment for its first gay player”.

So much more than just a marketing exercise, this campaign created by Officer & Gentleman agency is merely one of many undertaken by Paddy Power around the subject of gay representation: it pioneered and launched the Rainbow Laces campaign, which got universal backing across the game and during this year’s world cup they donated money to LGBTQ charities every time Russia scored a goal (a cheeky little move which in itself raised over £170,000).

 

Wherever your feelings lie on the subjects of football, gambling or indeed sexuality, we like this for the sheer bravado and for the fact that it brought a smile to many faces including ours and that’s got to be a good thing!

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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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