Curated By ZenithOptimedia, The ROI Agency
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The English Rugby Football Union has had insult added to injury after their crushing Six Nations loss to Ireland on March 19th. Not only did they lose the Grand Slam title after Ireland trounced them 24-8, but a Nike ad prematurely celebrating their win was leaked onto Youtube not long after the match, causing further humiliation for the already ego-bruised team.
The ad, which shows several English players including Chris Ashton, Toby Flood and Ben Foden posturing in slow motion backed by the roar of an unseen crowd, finishes with an image of the English rose growing from a “6” and the incorrect statement: “Onwards. Grand Slam Champions 2011.”
Not long after the ad appeared online, officials from Nike’s European headquarters in London acknowledged their mistake in attaching the video file to an internal email which previewed the company’s planned marketing campaign if the team they sponsor had beaten the Irish. They said in a statement “…pre-game optimism was misplaced, and we won’t be sending any internal emails like that in the future.”
A range of merchandise and ads including billboards also had to be cast aside after the English team’s implosion in Dublin. In a statement, the English Rugby Football Union announced that filming had been completed early for commercial reasons and had nothing to do with its estimation of the Irish team as opposition.
They said: “It is disappointing that details of Nike’s internal planning has got into the public domain. In no way did the RFU or the England team underestimate the challenge that the Ireland team would pose. We were well beaten by a team who played better and we have the utmost respected for Declan Kidney and the Irish players.”