Dani Alves, by eating the banana thrown at him by a Villareal “fan” built more awareness about racism in football than any marketing campaign.
I often point out that close to nothing is done to efficiently fight racism, homophobia and antisemitism in football. Words from football leaders are not often followed by concrete action. A few weeks ago however, CBF deducted 9 points from Club Esportivo whose fans racially abused the referee, leading to the relegation of the Brazilian club.
Following the incident with Dani Alves, Villareal said in an official statement that the author got identified and permanently banned from ever step foot at Madrigal Stadium. In my yesterday article I mentioned how easy it actually is to spot someone’s inappropriate behaviour in a stadium, apprehend him and take action against him. I got an ego boost to notice that I was not wrong!
CBF and Villareal actions show that when clubs and Confederations want to take drastic measures, they do. FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that FIFA will not tolerate racism at World Cup. Good to hear, now we want to see actions and sanctions, but not only at World Cup.
Back to Dani Alves.
Since yesterday, many players, football fans, or just random individuals, took pictures of themselves eating banana with the hashtag #weareallmonkeys. Is this the best marketing campaign against racism? Is this the best awareness of racism in football ever? I believe so.
Yesterday I was reading an article of my friend Stan Phelps (9 INCH marketing) about the future of Marketing. He outlines that the future of Marketing is a little less campaign, a little more action. Once again Stan, you hit the nail on the head!!
There has been marketing campaigns to fight racism in football. Has racism declined? no.
Kickitout (a UK based independant charity organisation who aims at kicking racism out of football) reported a 43% increase in discriminatory remarks being posted on social medias last year.
Monkey chants towards black players have not stopped neither have bananas throwing at them. Despicable homophobic comments have also not been eradicated.
So action needed to be taken, and #weareallmonkeys is just that. Players, people taking action. We marketers spend so much time thinking of new marketing concepts, present, activate, measure etc. How about a Dani Alves approach? A little less campaign, a little more action?
Take a look at the following pictures. My favourite? Prandelli!