'Ted Lasso' Takes Over U.K. Nando's Restaurant After Fictional Jersey Sponsorship
"Ted Lasso," the TV show about a fish-out-of-water American football coach thrust into the world of English soccer, does a pretty great job of using merchandise to fully expand and flesh out the fictional universe of the show.
In a move that accurately portrays the use of sponsors on English soccer jerseys, the new official AFC Richmond shirt appears to include a subtle sleeve sponsor: the beloved fast food chain Nando's.
richmond being sponsored by nando’s is honestly the most on brand thing ever pic.twitter.com/0nnR11F7SD
— dani (@carmyberzattos) February 16, 2023
And, to celebrate this partnership, a Nando's restaurant in the real-life Richmond went all-out with a "Ted Lasso"-themed installment, with redesigned signage to reflect the fictional club's colors, as well as menu items featuring the club's badge.
So @AFCRichmond has a local official sponsor in Nando’s in Richmond. Starting today, their Richmond restaurant will be #TedLasso decorated and have a Ted-inspired piri-piri chicken sandwich. Brilliant! Makes me wish I was there to check it out. @NandosUK pic.twitter.com/CFmoS6mZvf
— Cult of Lasso (@CultofLasso) March 15, 2023
Signs outside of the restaurant also included Lasso sayings, like "We're not in Kansas anymore," which I swear sounds familiar. Maybe it's from another movie, too.
Being an American and having never experienced a "cheeky Nando's," I don't know anything about the "spice flag." Apparently, when your food arrives, it comes with a little flag in it that denotes how spicy it is, or any particular flavor it has, like "Lemon and Herb" or "Extra Hot."
According to Four Four Two, as part of the Lasso experience, the flags will have the sauce name on one side, but the other will have "BELIEVE" on the other, a nod to the sign Lasso puts up in the AFC Richmond locker room, and the show's sort-of unofficial tagline.
There are a lot of lessons to learn from Ted Lasso, aside from the power of positivity and believing in oneself. We mean there's a lot to learn from "Ted Lasso," the TV show, in terms of branding and marketing. For starters, the show sells products like it's a legitimate soccer club, with realistic jerseys and other merchandise.
But the show's marketing team and Apple didn't come up with the idea of taking over a fast food restaurant for an immersive marketing experience. We've also seen Wendy's restaurants decked out for "Rick and Morty" promos.
I've said it before, though. What "Ted Lasso" does so well is its world-building, where its merchandise doesn't just advertise the show. It acts like it's part of the real world, or that you, the customer, are part of its world. It's not unlike what Disney resorts do. The cast members never wink at you. They want to create a world where everything you love on the screen is real.
In the case of this "Ted Lasso" promo, that meant going to a real restaurant, which is sponsoring a fictional club based in a real city, and breaking down a ton of fourth walls in the process.
Maybe the "believe" mantra is really about believing in the show's universe.