McCann London

Show Racism The Red Card
"Fabric of England"

Client: Show Racism The Red Card
Product: Show Racism The Red Card
Title: Fabric of England
Media: Apparel, Online
Country: UK
Date Of Campaign: 15 November 2022

Background: When England lost to Italy in the final of the European Championships, racism in football reared its ugly head. Three black players who missed penalties – Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka & Jason Sancho – all receiving a torrent of racist abuse online. ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ are the UK’s reading anti-racism educational charity, so they needed to act. We know that England is celebrated for its rich diversity, and this is reflected across the national football team…but it has never been celebrated to its full extent.

Idea: The England team wouldn’t be what it is today without immigration, and after conducting research on the entire squad, we found almost every player had a story of migration – covering all corners of the globe from North America, the Caribbean, all the way to New Zealand. 39 of the players responsible for getting England to the World Cup finals in Qatar have a heritage from outside of England, collectively coming from 14 different countries from around from North America, the Caribbean, all the way to New Zealand.We took this data and visualised it for the world to see. Introducing Fabric of England, a football shirt constructed from the national shirts of the 14 countries linked to the England squad. Fabric of England was constructed using original official shirts of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Guyana, Jamacia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, St Kitts & Nevis, St Grenadines & New Zealand – with some sourced second hand online due to the scarcity of them. Each section was carefully cut to size, to match the representative percentages of the corresponding nation. The patchwork quilt design acted as a visual tapestry infographic to raise awareness and educate people to the rich diversity that makes up the squad, and the nation as a whole, with the clothing label acting as the key. Fabric of England was launched in November during the run up to the World Cup in Qatar, the world’s biggest sporting event, and made appearances on TV and online throughout the tournament until mid-December where it was used as a showpiece to celebrate unity and togetherness. Fabric of England, ‘the unofficial England shirt’ of the World Cup, was produced as a limited run of 11 shirts that were used as a show piece for influencers and the media, and also raffled off to fans via social channels. Replica versions of the kit were also made and gifted to grass roots football clubs and schools.

Results: ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ exist to fight against racism in football and educate children to the problem. They rely on exposure and presence within arena of football, to ensure their message is heard loud and clear. Fabric of England was a showpiece that took the issue of racism within football into a new and compelling space – reframing the conversation in a new and visual arresting way. It led to a 500% spike in engagement across their social channels and brought their message to millions of people around the world when used as a talking point during live coverage of the World Cup games. It is now used as an educational piece in schools – showing the power of diversity, and proving that the England team wouldn’t exist without immigration and diversity.

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