Manchester City Partners With Heineken for 'Plastics' Statue Outside Stadium
In England, bandwagon fans are referred to as "plastics," i.e., you're a plastic fan if you just support the clubs with the most money and the best chances to win trophies, without having suffered through years of ups and downs like the "real" fans.
Manchester City, a club that grew from lower-league irrelevance to one of the biggest clubs in the world thanks to recent financial backing, is trying to eradicate "plastics" from the club as well as the environment through a partnership with Heineken that involves two life-sized statues of literal plastic fans made from recycled plastic waste outside of the Etihad Stadium.
The #NoPlasticFansHere campaign seeks to remove fans of plastic from football and inspire fans, venues and the general public to join the sustainability journey.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 14, 2022
"Manchester City has developed an active agenda for sustainability, which seeks to engage fans, community workforce and partners as we work collaboratively on this journey," Pete Bradshaw, the club's director of sustainability, said in a press release. “The #NoPlasticFansHere campaign is a positive and engaging initiative that will hopefully resonate with our fans and raise further awareness of the need to reduce waste and pollution across our [neighborhoods], cities, oceans and planet, and we hope that lots of our fans take time to visit the sculptures at this weekend's fixture.”
The statues are, admittedly, a little creepy, but it's a clever play on words. It's also a self-aware way for City to get in on the joke of their "plastic" fans, and use some metaphorical judo to use that criticism for the club's own good.
Also, Heineken gets a piece of the action, placing its name right alongside one of the most-watched clubs in the world, and doing so with good environmental intentions.
The U.K. has been taking serious measures to limit plastic waste, and has seen good results. This promotion is a way to directly appeal to sports fans to get on the bandwagon, so to speak.
This is a nice win, which Manchester City is more than familiar with on the field (pitch, as we say in the soccer business).