When you play in the 5th division of English soccer, it usually takes something special to make national headlines and trend on Twitter, but Ebbsfleet United and their fans have done just that.
Ebbsfleet United Football Club is an English football club based in Northfleet, Kent and early in November, during Ebbsfleet’s BT televised match against Leyton Orient, viewers noticed that the team was missing out on a great opportunity. Yado Mambo, one of the team’s defenders, was wearing the number 18 on the back of his jersey.
Imagine signing a player called Mambo and not giving him the number 5 shirt. Poor form from Ebbsfleet United. pic.twitter.com/ZFjVGlXRIV
— Joe (@RedAndWhite11) November 11, 2017
Ebbsfleet’s devoted fan base had already been campaigning to pay tribute to Lou Bega’s smash hit, “Mambo #5” for years, but the club management had decided not to yield to their request. That is until recently. After a passionate plea from social media, the club finally decided to pay homage to the reference.
Unfortunately, Ebbsfleet’s captain currently wears jersey number 5, and, the process to change numbers in the middle of a season is a tedious one. As a compromise, the club auctioned off a special edition “Mambo #5 jersey” in order to raise money for charity and to satiate their fans. In addition, after enough publicity, Lou Bega himself got word of the event and even offered to sign the jersey. After raising about £2,200 from an online auction, the club donated all of the proceeds to Prostate Cancer UK.
Even though Ebbsfleet had known of the reference dating back to when Yado first singed for the team six years ago, it took a mass appeal from social media to encourage the team to act. A soccer organization’s first job is to win games, but they also need to market themselves to their fans. The team understood that all they really had to do was respond.
The power of marketing comes when we understand what the people [fans] want. Now and then, this requires arduous campaigns, but sometimes all you need to do is stop and listen to the music.