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Brand match of the day: Golden Boot Lineker v Own Goal BBC

Detail from 2019 Walkers crisps campaign, Gary LIneker and Colin Furze
Detail from 2019 Walkers crisps campaign, Gary LIneker and Colin Furze

March 15, 2023

For those not already abreast, there's a "hot mess" in the UK at the moment involving sport, government and the media.

Golden Boot Gary Lineker - a former England footballer and long-time presenter of the popular TV show Match of the Day - side-stepped a clumsy tackle from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to suspend him over his tweet about the government's proposed Illegal Migration Bill.

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Lineker - the only player never to have received a yellow, let alone a red, card in 16 years of professional play - has hosted migrants in his home and expressed support for their plight before, as with this fish'n'chips campaign in 2020.

The Beeb was felt by many to have scored an own goal after fellow presenters and others walked out in solidarity after his brief suspension. The Corporation's own impartiality credentials were questioned, and freedom of speech became something that's actually being, um, talked about again.

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Lineker has form when it comes to navigating situations with the BBC: in 2016 they made good on his promise to present the first Match of the Day (MOTD) of the new season in just his underpants following Leicester City's improbable Premier League title victory the previous season.

In terms of branding...

....Lineker, now 62, first featured on ADDS with this 2019 campaign in support of The Big Issue, the magazine that was set up in 1991 in response to London's growing number of homeless people. It enabled the homeless and vulnerably circumstanced to earn a living through selling magazines.

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The 'Pay It Forward' partnership with digital bank Monzo meant buyers of the magazine could pass their copy on to a friend who scans its QR code, paying for it a second time. The money goes straight into the original vendor's Monzo bank account.

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in 2020, he showed up in a humorous 'Unlimited Subs' campaign for British multinational telecommunications company BT, alongside top football players Carlo Ancelotti, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Marcus Rashford, Gareth Bale, Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Vardy thinking entire teams can be swapped out.

Lineker is best known in the marketing world for his ads for Walkers crisps. In 2021, he signed up for another three years with Walkers, and was said to be going to take on a 'higher role which will see him acting more as an ambassador for the brand.'

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This 2021 ad takes a familiar, amusing approach to promoting the snacks as it highlights a new flavour - Kentucky Fried Chicken. The twist is that it picked up on social media conversations likening the ex-England and Leicester footballer to KFC founder Colonel Sanders. 

Whatever your thoughts on his brand and branding, you'll probably agree with these tweets from Lineker after his reinstatement as the BBC's MOTD presenter:

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Posted by Tree Elven on 23/04/2023

Keywords: Gary Lineker, MOTD controversy 2023, Illegal Migration Bill UK

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