Umbro met les supporters au coeur du nouveau maillot de Manchester City

On peut critiquer Manchester City pour être LE club de football des qataris avec ses petro-dollars, ses stars payés des millions, le naming de son stade, et sa dette, mais il faut reconnaitre que le club innove constamment dans son approche de la communication et du marketing, notamment lors du lancement du nouveau maillot du club pour la saison 2011/12.

Toutes les initiatives du club depuis près de 18 mois montrent que le supporter est revenu au coeur de la stratégie de communication : twitter, facebook, flickr sont mis en avant sur la home page du club, l’appli mobile a été conçue avec l’aide des supporters, une application de réalité augmentée a été réalisée suite à la victoire en FA Cup, une plateforme digitale permet aux fans de City de se localiser partout dans le monde, bref les initiatives ne manquent pas, notamment grâce aux médias sociaux.

Mais la dernière en date est de loin, pour moi, la plus significative du lien entre le club et ses supporters. Pour le lancement du maillot domicile, produit par Umbro, le club a décidé de mettre la musique au coeur comme symbole de cette union entre le club et la ville avec deux symboles forts : Liam Gallagher et la chanson des supporters, Blue Moon. En effet, la musique fait vraiment partie de Manchester puisque la ville a vu naître des groupes comme les Bee Gees, M People (Movin on Up), Simply Red, Take That, Oasis et plus récemment les Ting Tings ou un des nouveaux groupes à la mode Wu Lyf (Edit de @tomroffe: les vrais groupes de Manchester sont The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays et Stone Roses)

Tous ne sont pas fans de football. Oasis et plus particulièrement Liam Gallagher sont des vrais fans de football et qui plus est de Manchester City. A l’image du lancement du maillot de l’équipe d’Angleterre avec Kasabian (qui a aussi comme équipementier Umbro), le club a utilisé Liam Gallagher, la moitié de feu Oasis, pour endosser ce rôle. Pour l’occasion, Liam Gallagher, avec son nouveau groupe, Beady Eye, a interprété une nouvelle version de Blue Moon en la remixant avec leur dernier single, The Beat Goes On. La chanson se trouve ici.

Mais Umbro et Manchester City sont allés un cran plus loin en enregistrant la chanson « Blue Moon » en direct dans le stade durant le dernier match de la saison et en la retranscrivant en « waveform » (les courbes des ondes sonores). Cette waveform a alors été imprimée sur le buste du maillot avec des picots de couleur plus sombre pour la faire ressortir. La waveform est aussi imprimée à côté de la couture se trouvant sur le côté droit du maillot et a été « digitalisée » et figure en fond d’écran de la boutique du club.

Je trouve qu’Umbro et Manchester City viennent de mettre la barre très haut avec cette initiative simple et innovante mais tellement chargée de sens pour les supporters et les joueurs. Plus qu’un best practice, cela doit devenir une norme pour les équipementiers et les clubs.

A quand « Les Corons » sur le maillot du RC Lens? ou Aux Armes sur le maillot de l’OM? Ne serait-ce pas un signe fort de la part d’une marque de reconnaitre la relation et les émotions qui unissent un club et ses supporters ?

La vidéo explicative de l’initiative avec le récit de David Blanch, designer chez Umbro :


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