A ‘Welcome to Vanchester’ banner in central Manchester through BlowUp has been installed to greet United’s new manager. In conjunction with Posterscope and the Arena team, Betfair launched the PR stunt without any branding. The banner, emblazoned with the welcome message beneath a picture of the Dutchman, parodies the one put up on Deansgate by City to welcome Carlos Tevez after the former Reds striker defected to the Blues in 2009.
The original, which taunted ‘Welcome to Manchester’ across a picture of the Argentinian celebrating a goal, was paid for by supporters of the Blues and was seen as a swipe at the fact United are based in Trafford rather than Manchester, like City. Fans of the Reds got their own back two years later with a billboard poking fun at Tevez’s rift with Roberto Mancini. The digital poster showed a picture of the player – who had been suspended and was later fined after refusing to come on as a sub in a Champions League match against Bayern Munich – sitting on the bench with the slogan ‘Welcome to Carlos Manchester’.
This new taunt has sparked a tremendous amount of conversation globally. In under 24 hours there have been 8,210 twitter mentions by 7,397 people with an estimated 16.4 million impression spanning across 104 countries. This activity marks the second campaign booked this year with Betfair around tactical messaging as they continue to push the boundaries.