‘You want to get them to say what?!?’
It started with a somewhat-nervous pitch in the Arsenal boardroom. We asked the club to play a lead role in Paddy Power’s Rainbow Laces campaign with Stonewall, aimed at tackling homophobia in football.
Arsenal takes the issue very seriously, from grass-roots up, and makes huge efforts to improve the football environment for gay players and fans.
Arsene Wenger recently told the Arsenal Magazine: “It’s very sad that some people think that this sport should only be reserved for those who have certain characteristics. It’s open to everybody who loves football and when that doesn’t happen, it’s not acceptable.”
So Paddy Power put forward one idea from the Lucky Generals agency to Arsenal chiefs for a video to launch Rainbow Laces. The concept was simple: there are some things we can never change about ourselves. But together we can change the game.
Watch the Arsenal Rainbow Laces video here…
The film was shot at Emirates Stadium in August and it ran like a dream, thanks to the players. Each footballer had just 20 minutes for their take.
The director, Jim Gilchrist, asked Olivier Giroud to take inspiration for his line from a certain Hollywood blockbuster.
“What is Zoolander? I do not know Zoolander,” came the bewildered reply from the 27-year-old Chambery-born striker.
“Should I just act more French?”
Spot on, Olivier. Nailed it, pal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (21) came up with the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’ line himself, brushing aside his fears that people might not fancy him if he admitted resembling a fictional, pizza-loving reptilian crime-fighter. We think you’ll do alright, Ox.
Of the other Arsenal players, Theo Walcott (25) couldn’t stop laughing, while diminutive Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla deserves special credit for his performance (especially as we just asked him to pretend he was a kid looking over a wall).
Director Jim told the Paddy Power Blog: “The Arsenal players were so laid back and the performances were great. They made it easy for me.”
- Tweet your support for #RainbowLaces. Tweet players, clubs or your pals to encourage them to show we’ve got the balls to change the game.
- How to get Rainbow Laces: You can get Rainbow Laces at any Paddy Power Shop (shop locator here) or via Stonewall here