27 Oct And the award for the PR stunt of the week goes to…
Usain Bolt is going to be handed a trial with top German soccer club Borussia Dortmund…apparently.
The 31 year old sprint sensation has always wanted to play professional football and it’s in all the papers this week that Dortmund, which plays in the Champion’s League, will be giving him a shot.
When you clock the headline, you’re immediately sceptical but it seems so intriguing you have to read on. Then you get halfway down the page and it all becomes clear when you read that the Dortmund chief executive will “meet [Puma CEO] Bjorn Gulden this week” – and they will be discussing Bolt’s trial. So this is just another PR stunt cooked up by the PR and marketing guys at Puma which sponsors both Bolt and Borussia Dortmund.
You may feel a little annoyed at being duped, but it’s a great example of a PR team creating a story that is ludicrous enough to get your attention while is just about plausible enough to make you think there could be a grain of truth to it.
This sort of click-bait style trick is so tantalising the papers can’t not run it. And of course they get to print pics of Bolt. And of course lots of people will share it on social media because it seems so ridiculous – yet might just be true. Puma gets a few million eyeballs to its brand and the tabloids will get to sell a lot of advertising. Everyone’s a winner.