Paddy Power Balotelli Swap Shirt; This is Kindergarden Marketing

Hi everyone,Mario Balotelli, Milan, Italy for PUMA
Recently, Paddy Power launched an initiative that gave Liverpool fans the opportunity to swap their Balotelli shirt with a new shirt featuring Fowler’s name at the back. Short term thinking, cheap shot, in other words, kindergarden marketing.

The whole thing started when Balotelli swapped his shirt with Pepe. What a crime! What an outrage! He should be put to jail! Okay, sarcasm aside, can someone tell me where the problem is? 
Portugal was 4-0 down at the 2014 World Cup when Cristiano Ronaldo swapped his shirt with Khedira at half time. Did the Portuguese press throw a tantrum? Were Portugal fans so outraged that they insisted CR7 gave up his citizenship? No to both obviously.

“Sometimes the players change their shirt at half-time with the opponent,” said Carlo Ancelotti. “I don’t see a problem.”


Paddy Power said: 

“You can understand why the Liverpool fans are getting shirty. The performances have been less Super Mario and more Luigi. The lack of goals wouldn’t be quite as frustrating if he made more of an effort. We stepped in as it seems only fair that if Balotelli doesn’t want his shirt, fans shouldn’t have to keep on going round with his name on their backs.”

When Paddy Power is using this isolated fact to launch a marketing cheap shot at the Italian, it is demagogic, idiotic and risky at best.

In football where everything goes so fast, if Balotelli scored 3 goals against Real Madrid on November 4, would Paddy Power re-swap the swapped Balotelli shirt?

When marketing is used for cheap shots with a very short sighted angle, it becomes kindergarden marketing and a 2 year old can pull it off.

Karl Lusbec


2 thoughts on “Paddy Power Balotelli Swap Shirt; This is Kindergarden Marketing

  1. Although I believe totally in sportsmanship, I believe swapping shirts at half time is wrong. It is not a major offense just inappropriate for players in the middle of a battle (or match) to lose their focus. Yes, by all means swap at the end of the game.

    In fact, please, can anyone tell me, why do FIFA stop post match shirt swapping? It’s Good for players, fans, kids & promotes the game – perhaps in the same way that Blatter suggested ladies should show off their bodies to the public!

    Balotelli may not have been very clever in doing a half time swap but is it worth the hype? As a QPR fan and having seen him play recently he doesn’t seem to me to be a Liverpool type of player – however he could prove us all wrong as he is still a kid & learning his trade.

    Paul Smith, founder, The Great Sportsmanship Programme


  2. Hi Paul,
    Players have a lot of jersey requests from opponents prior to the games for friends or family. They usually agree whom to swap their jerseys with before the game starts. Given that global teams use 2-3 jerseys per player per game, players swap their shirts during half time.
    It doesn’t bother me after the game, nor does it at half time. Often players wear opponent shirts after the game while giving an interview on camera. That, in my opinion, is more of a concern and border line disrespectful.
    I agree with you though, it’s not worth the hype at all. Thing is, Balotelli is a very unemotional individual. He doesn’t kiss the club’s crest when he scores, he doesn’t have the standard speech “I’ve always wanted to play for [fill with club’s name], it’s a dream that came true….. So fans take it as a lack of respect.
    I was not aware that FIFA stopped post match shirts swapping? Nothing surprises me with FIFA anyways.

    Keep in touch Paul!


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