Why Angry Birds’ partnership with Everton is actually great

Last year, Everton signed a sleeve sponsorship deal with popular mobile game Angry Birds.

Sleeve sponsorships are still relatively new ground for Premier League clubs and whilst partnerships are nothing new for anyone involved in football, any sponsor who takes pride of place on the shirt should surely be one a club should work with to mutual benefit. The Toffees were one of the first to jump on the sleeve partnership, though it did seem slightly odd at the time… the natural link between football club and mobile app where birds fly into things being less obvious than usual.

But it’s always interesting to see how such partnerships are activated. Especially this one!

Today, Everton and Angry Birds partnered to bring three Toffees players, Theo Walcott, Cenk Tosun and Gylfi Sigurdsson into the game itself.

When you think about it, short of building some sort of football game into the app itself, the only way the two could partner in a meaningful way was probably to turn some Everton players into playable Angry Birds. Which is exactly what they’ve done.

It’s something which will probably see a lot of press and social media chatter over the next few days. Mostly because it’s likely to seem strange, jarring or even cringeworthy for some fans at first. And yet, this is the sort of strategic partnership that clubs should have in mind when they partner with another brand. Especially when it’s a brand which will adorn the club’s kit for a season or more. Wouldn’t it have been worse to see Everton simply throw out a few Angry Tweets here and there saying ‘download now’ instead of actually partnering in a meaningful way?

It’s also great to see sponsors actually put time and effort into creating something to bring that partnership to life. Just spending money to attach a name to a football club’s brand and get in front of their fans with a few social media posts feels a bit meaningless. And even if Angry Birds have had to spend even more extra money just to enhance their partnership, you get the feeling it’ll be more impactful because of it.

In any case, Theo Walcott seems pleased:

So maybe that means it’s mission accomplished!

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 772 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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