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
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
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.