CAMPAIGNS: Financial PR - Burton links football into its fashion

Client: Burton Menswear

Client: Burton Menswear

PR Team: Ketchum

Campaign: Burton Menswear - Dressing the football nation.

Timescale: August 1999 - July 2000

Budget: pounds 145,000

When Ketchum took on the Burton account in the summer of 1999, the

menswear retailer already had a relationship with the England football


The logic of it was strong - 75 per cent of Burton’s male customers were

England fans - but with the Euro 2000 championship on the horizon,

awareness of the relationship was less than two per cent. Ketchum needed

a plan to capitalise much more effectively on the relationship during

the championship.


Burton’s main target market was men between 28-35 who were maybe not

quite as fashion conscious as they had been when they were younger and

may now also have a partner helping to make purchasing decisions.

Burton wanted to use the campaign to improve sales of its clothes in

this target market.

Strategy and Plan

Research conducted for the agency found that a high proportion of the

target market read the News of the World so one leg of the strategy was

to develop a relationship with the title. This involved sponsoring the

paper’s Terry Venables column for a year - a relationship that also saw

Venables being used for promotional activities within the Burton


To generate footfall from the arrangement, the agency included a

competition which involved entrants going into the stores. There was

also a mechanism to relate the sponsorship back to the product with

money-off vouchers.

The agency wanted to find ways of linking football to fashion with the

Burton brand at the centre, and one idea was to place features that made

this connection. For example, when third division club Gillingham were

due to play Chelsea, a piece was done about the makeover of the

relatively impoverished Gillingham players.

The football/fashion link was further made with the creation of a league

table of lifestyle, ranking the fans of 102 football clubs. Fashion was

in the mix (gauged by fans’ annual expenditure) but it also involved a

subjective judgement on matters such as where fans went on holiday to

make it a more rounded study. The table was published in April this year

through an association with Match of the Day magazine.

There were also countless spin-off articles written about the results -

West Ham came top and the a clutch of West Midlands teams gathered in

the relegation zone. Coverage was driven further with 40

locally-tailored press releases highlighting the position of local fans.

This device allowed the Burton name to be associated with football

fashion in a slightly humourous way.

Avoiding a backlash against the mid-market Burton brand was uppermost in

the agency’s thinking when it came to the third leg of the strategy -

providing suits for the England team.

Previous championship designer, Paul Smith had made the suits and there

was a risk that the team might be seen to be slumming it in Burton


The agency prepared a number of defences against this charge, chief

among which was a photo of the last time Burton had made the team’s

suits - 1966, the year England won the World Cup.

Measurement and Evaluation

Direct evaluation was possible because several activities were designed

to send customers to the stores bearing tokens. The competition and

money-off tokens included as part of the sponsored Terry Venables

column, for example, created footfall of 25,000 in stores. Another

promotion with the Sunday Mirror produced footfall of 32,000.

The agency also kept a close watch on press coverage. Of the 95 pieces

of coverage of the Burton Menswear League of Football style, 90 per cent

of it included Burton branding.

Providing the suits for the England team also produced strong coverage -

three back pages of the Evening Standard and three Daily Star double

page spreads, for example. Altogether there were 119 positive pieces of

coverage and only one negative piece.


Awareness of Burton’s association with England among the general

population went up during the campaign from two to 24 per cent and among

the target market the figure rose to 45 per cent. The campaign also won

Ketchum’s in-house awards this month.

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