A picnic in the press room: football's 'product placement' gets out of hand

The ‘product placement’, also known as advertising placement or product positioning, is an advertising technique that consists of the insertion of a product, brand or message within the narrative of a medium, which may well be a film or a television series. . In the case of football, this phenomenon has been taken to the press rooms, where the protagonists, coaches and sometimes captains appear after the games, at a time of maximum audience.

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Paul of Villota

The sponsoring brands of the different clubs have chosen to position their products in the press room of the stadiums, composing some delirious scenarios in which the coaches are forced to integrate to justify complicated defeats or explain euphoric victories.

One of the most surreal images occurred in September 2010, during Osasuna’s visit to Mallorca. Jose Antonio Camacho, a rojillo coach at the time, went to the press room and found an unthinkable scenario. The publicity of the press room of the Iberostar stadium in Palma, among which miniatures of airplanes, bottles of drinks or logos of betting houses appeared, were so invasive that they prevented him from seeing what was on the other side of his table. The publicity covered the coach’s face, something that the vermilion club had to correct weeks later due to complaints from the media, who lost the image of the protagonists after that excessive advertising orgy.

Camacho, hidden behind advertising.

In 2018, another image was produced that generated many comments, about the Chivas advertising bet. His trainer, Jose Saturnino Cardozo He appeared before a row of products that included cookies, drinks, seeds… The Mexican club went overboard with the exposure of its sponsors and the coach did not hide his surprise when he found everything on the table. It seemed that he had just made the purchase, to the stupor of the technician himself and the journalists present.

A picnic all over the place.

But ever since that phenomenon began in professional football, drinks have been the star product in press rooms. Drinks of all kinds. From mineral water to isotonic drinks through other sugary ones or even beers. Drinks that have generated many reactions in the protagonists who came to the press room to answer questions from the media.

The most notorious occurred in the last European Championship, in which Cristiano Ronaldo sat in the press room and removed two bottles of a well-known brand of soft drinks, one of the main sponsors of the competition. The Portuguese, a lover of healthy living and nutrition, had no qualms about moving the bottles away, a gesture that caused a fall in the value of the shares of the brand that caused him to lose 4 million euros, as Cristiano was a world reference. Then the player gestured to the press with his finger denying that bottle and added “Better water”. And he crowned it by raising a bottle of water. In addition to a viral image, it was widely commented on in sports and business forums, and there were those who accused Cristiano of not taking care of the sponsors that generate his astronomical income.

But Cristiano was not the only one who took advantage of the ‘product placement’ to position himself with respect to the brands. Pogba did the same, putting aside the bottle of the brand that the Portuguese put aside. and also that of the beer that was the main sponsor of that European Championship. The Frenchman also wanted to disassociate his image from that of those products, something that made the organization feel bad and also generated numerous criticisms.

Cristiano Ronaldo made people talk at the European Championship. (Media set)

The fashion of positioning itself on the ‘product placement’ in that Eurocopa of 2020 had its epilogue when the captain of the champion team, Italy. Leonardo BonucciUnlike his previous colleagues, he took the beer and took a drink, then opened the bottle of the soda brand and did the same. This is how the Italian settled the snubs of the other cracks to the sponsors. A gesture that became viral on social networks.

He was not the first to take the opportunity to drink the beer at the table, because the Liverpool center-back Virgil Van Dijk already did it at the conclusion of the Champio finalns of 2019 that his team had won amid the euphoric atmosphere in the press room.

However, nothing comparable to what happened last weekend in Soria. The Numancia coach, Diego Martínez, appeared in the press room to address the media in front of some of his sponsors’ products such as bottles of water, soft drinks and… a succulent Torreznos de Soria tower that captured the prominence of all those present, including Coach. The delicious Soria delicacy was the star of the press conference. But there was a trick the tower was actually a model by the sculptors Ricardo González and César Antón.

The club did not hide that at first it was suggested that the torreznos were real, but the smell and the expiration date of the food invited them to propose an ingenious alternative that continues to draw attention to the realism of the sculpture, which many did not discover until that detail was publicly revealed. The torrezno fulfilled its mission, making Numancia viral, something they had already achieved by associating this food with the shirt of their renowned volleyball team. Imaginative solutions to gain visibility and positioning. The only thing missing is for no rival coach to be encouraged to try one and be disappointed.

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