Paul Wheelock column: Harmless Blackburn Rovers kit launch video has made an impact (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Paul Wheelock column: Harmless Blackburn Rovers kit launch video has made an impact
WITH the Rovers squad away at a training camp in Portugal there was potential for this being a quiet news week at Ewood.
But the way the club went about launching its new kit emphatically ensured that has not been the case.
Leon Best may have been left at home and Alex Marrow may have become the latest player to have his contract ripped up.
But there is no question that the hot topic this week has been THAT video starring Rovers super-fan Alan ‘Birdy’ Birkbeck.
To say it has split opinion among the Rovers fan base would be as big an understatement as saying Rudy Gestede is not bad in the air.
But as cringeworthy as it is – and that was surely the club’s intention – I see the video as being a bit of harmless fun that should not be taken seriously.
That said it would be wrong to say the fans who do not agree with that perspective – and there are plenty – need a sense of humour bypass.
See it from their point of view.
Having lived and squirmed through that infamous chicken advert and the Shebby Singh era, the last thing they wanted was to give the wider footballing world the chance to poke fun at the club again.
And sure enough national news agencies and supporters of rival clubs have been quick to have a dig.
But you know what? Stuff them.
They were never going to get what is essentially an in-joke.
And whatever your feelings over the video it is unquestionable it has had more impact, certainly in the social media age, in promoting a Rovers shirt than ever before.
The fact that it had surpassed 190,000 views by the time the club pulled it off YouTube at 6pm on Tuesday was evidence of that.
Not bad for 24 hours’ work and compare that to other kits launched this week, by the likes of Burnley and Wigan.
They came and went almost unnoticed when surely the aim of promoting a new shirt is to attract as much publicity as possible?
Time will tell, of course, whether it translates into extra shirt sales.
But no-one will care one jot if Gary Bowyer’s side replicate Kenny Dalglish’s team of 1992 – the last time, bar a one-off game in 2000, that the club’s home strip featured a pale blue half – and end the season as promotion winners to the top flight.
And to paraphrase Birdy’s kiss-off line from THAT video, you know that is what we all want.