UEFA referee experiment: Has refereeing entered Marketing?

Howdy everybody,
Today UEFA released a 30 second video promoting the 5 referee experiment on the pitch. This spot will be aired on giant screens accross all european stadiums during Champions League and Europa League group stages. UEFA is sending another clear message that goal line technology is not on the agenda.

Starring the italian legendary referee, Pierluigi Collina (UEFA chief refereeing officer), the video is emphasing on a better vision, a better communication and information for the 5 referees. They are all wired by an audio device which enables a fast decision making and ensures a full alignment in the verdict. Pierluigi Collina points out at the end of the video: “Now We See More“.

Obviously, the reason is to improve referee calls and reduce controversy. However, the message from UEFA is crystal clear. First of all, the continuity of the 5 referee experiment shows the disbelief in goal line technology. At least some consistency here. Also, the AAR (Additional Assistant  Referees) will remain behind the goal line, but could step on the penalty area when the play is far from it.

Secondly, and correct me if I am wrong, it is the first time the european football governing body communicates so strongly and efficiently about a referee related matter.
–  A fast paced video with some rock’n roll music
– An embassador: Collina
– Powerful communication points : more visibility, more communication, more information
– A tagline: Now we see more
– A key UEFA value: Respect

Has refereeing entered marketing? Will marketing tools be used to “promote” and “evangelise” a referee experiment? These are the questions we could have the answers in the following weeks!

In the meantime, enjoy the Champions League everyone and update your calendars!

Karl Lusbec

(Clic on the image to see the video)