March 31, 2013
Over two months ago, singer Ricky Martin arrived in Australia for his new gig as judge in one of 2012′s biggest rating shows, The Voice Australia.
Martin will replace Keith Urban as judge after Urban left the show join American Idol.
While I’m sounding a little like Richard Wilkins here, there is a point to this. Martin came to prominence in 1998 with his song The Cup of Life (La Copa de la Vide).
That song not only propelled Martin to international fame, but it was also the official song to 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.
So it then got me thinking. Why don’t we use Ricky Martin to promote the local game, the A-League in an ad campaign for season 2013/14 and beyond?
The FFA’s headquarters is based in Sydney. The Voice is based in Sydney. So why doesn’t the FFA take advantage of the situation?
Some people may think of this as a left field idea, but then again, it could be an idea that could transform Australian football through a catchy, hippy, happy tune in that it might bring new fans to the game after listening to either the single, ads or promos involving Martin.
You may ask, would the FFA afford a marketing campaign that involves someone like Ricky Martin? Well, the FFA will soon begin their $160 million four-year deal in mid year, so there is an influx of new cash.
There could be extra incentive for the FFA to find new owners for the Western Sydney Wanderers, and therefore offload their financial responsibilities from the club, and redirect that money to market the game, like it has never been marketed before.
In the first season of the A-League it had Queensland Roar player Chad Gibson in a starring role where the football was dipped into paint, then kicked up against a wall to cleverly spell a word. The slogan of the ad was “It’s football, but not as you know it”.
It was nicely done. It sent a message to the mainstream that a new era of football, not soccer was born with the commencement of the new A-League competition. However, as good an ad as it was, I still think it fell short of been iconic or timeless.
The song used in the ad was Not Many by Scribe.
The game of football needs an anthem. It needs something stirring, inspiring, uplifting. It needs something that is mainstream. It needs something where every generation can shake their Bon Bon to. I can understand in recent years where the “We are Football” slogan has done well.
That slogan can be used as an anthem, which would be performed by the Puerto Rican singer.
We have seen it in the past with other sports in this country that a great advertising campaign with a great tune can work wonders for a sport. A couple of examples that come to mind are cricket’s brilliant iconic piece of C’Mon Aussie, C’Mon and rugby league’s Tina Turner-inspired Simply the Best.
In world football, one of the most recognised anthems is Liverpool’s You’ll Never Walk Alone. Could an anthem similar to YNWA work for the A-League?
Maybe not, especially if Martin sings it. We could look for an anthem that picks out the best bits from a range of different sporting songs.
Or if it’s possible, maybe we could rehash The Cup of Life single, change a few key words in the lyrics which would then be relevant to the A-League. Something like:
“Here we go! Ale, Ale, Ale! We are Football! Ale, Ale, Ale! Tonight’s the night we see Archie play! We are Football! Ale, Ale, Ale!”
I know…it’s ordinary, but you get the drift.
Maybe SBS should have a program to find performers who could deliver the anthem for the A-League. It would be good timing on SBS’ behalf since they will be covering the A-League for the first time in season 2013/14.
I remember back in 2006 prior to the World Cup, SBS had a show called “Song for the Socceroos”. It was a show designed to find and identify a World Cup anthem for the Socceroos. The winner of that competition was won by an urban rock group called Freedom of Thought.
The winning song was Green and Gold. The song had lyrics like “I wanna jump and scream in a stadium full of Australians”. I thought that song was supposed to be a World Cup anthem. In a world cup, you don’t have a ”stadium full of Australians”.
The song missed it’s mark.
I like to see the ad where it shows a montage of great goals from the likes of Alessandor Del Piero, Archie Thompson, Marco Rojas etc. Also in the ad, show great images of active supporters singing and dancing from clubs like WSW and Melbourne Victory and also show images of young kids playing football on a Saturday.
All throughout the ad, have Martin shown in spits and sputs just to simply engage the mainstream audience. I would have Martin more as a narrator in the ad, rather then the star, because at the end of the day, its the players that are the stars. By the end of the ad, show the upcoming round of matches, as this ad will be shown on a weekly basis right throughout the season.
However, if Martin doesn’t work out, the FFA could always look towards the likes of Shakira, Enrique Iglesias or maybe the Gypsy Kings to fill the breach.
Football fans, do you want to see Ricky Martin be involved in an A-League ad campaign?