Sunday’s Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Chelsea was largely eventless until the Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga defied his manager’s commands to be substituted near the end.
City went on to retain the trophy on penalties, and the major talking point was about the ‘keeper controversy.
Perhaps an equally controversial moment actually occurred in a draw for the competition’s semi-finals more than a week earlier.
W Communications was tasked with drumming up interest and putting the draw in a positive light after it had previously received negative coverage, as well as reaching fans beyond supporters of the four remaining clubs.
The agency used a tried-and-tested PR trick to get talkability – calling on Good Morning Britain host and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan, as well as popular footballer Peter Crouch to indulge in some tongue-in-cheek banter in the run up.
Piers Morgan organically mentioned that he would be hosting the draw and informed the audience of the wager live on Good Morning Britain.
This involved a wager on the outcome of the North London derby between Spurs and Arsenal, and a teaser video.
After Spurs beat the Gunners, Morgan drew the semi-final balls wearing a Tottenham Hotspur shirt and received plenty of social media stick from nemesis Gary Lineker, as well as Alan Sugar and Harry Kane.
The stunt received 20 pieces of national and online coverage and 209,021 instances of social media engagement for a combined reach of 15.9 million.