One of the superstars of the 2014 World Cup is the free kick spray. FIFA launched it for the World Cup to help referees when a free kick is on. The greatest ideas are the most simple ideas. The free kick spray is definitly one of them.
The spray was invented by Argentine journalist Pablo Silva and was used in MS and South American competitions since……2008. Yes, referees have been using the free kick spray for 6 years. Why is it used only now? That’s a question you should direct to FIFA.
The spray is non-toxic and white to make sure that the line is visible on a green grass. The material has been linked to cosmetic products and it’s the cooling temperature that comes out which allows it to evaporate so fast.
The fact of the matter is that this spray is first and foremost a great help for referees to keep players back. How annoying it was, back in the days when the players forming the wall kept on moving forward! The wall ended up being 5 meters away rather than the legal 9.15 meters.
The spray is visible and “uncheatable”. It also contributes to save time as the referee doesn’t have to manually re-adjust the wall! If a player moves over the line, he can be easily booked. It’s a clear system, fast, easy and effective.
When we talk about changing some laws of the game in order to move the game forward, these are the kind of newness I am keen on seeing. Simple, yet great idea.
My marketing brain tells me that the spray is also a fantastic way to display brands footwear. How can you get a better exposure on player’s boots than that??
The bottom line is that there are tons of great ideas that do make the sport go forward. They are simple, cheap, fast and efficient.