For the first time ever, we’ve seen a round of AFL footy played without a single game taking place in Victoria. Here are my talking points from a history-making Round 6.
The Gungahlin Golden Sun Moths footy club have ended their short-lived association with controversial local Vietnamese eatery, Pho Shizzle.
It is understood both parties are relieved the two-year contract, signed in 2017, has run its course and have no interest in renewing the deal.
The unusual arrangement was reached at a time when the Moths were mired in financial crisis and the local restaurant was banned from local print, radio and TV advertising after repeated breaches of broadcast standards.
In addition to the normal branding and in-store appearances one might expect, the deal required the Moths to participate in a list of bizarre activities designed to create a ‘buzz’ about the restaurant.
Players were asked to participate in public flash mobs, dressed as the constituent elements of a goi ga (Vietnamese salad), twice a week. They were also required to celebrate goals by miming the construction and consumption of rice paper rolls.
With the notable exception of Farouq, whose portrayal of a shredded cabbage won plaudits, these tasks generally proved too challenging for a Moths line-up devoid of thespians.
The restaurant also demanded that players provide the eatery with subliminal advertising by using key phrases in public engagements, such as; “we’re taking it one spring roll at a time” or “we’re just trying to put a full four quarters of consistent ban mhi’s together this week.”
It’s understood that Pho Shizzle were displeased with the clumsy execution of these attempts at viral marketing as well as their rarity. The Moths impotent forward line generated very few opportunities for goal celebrations, while press conferences after matches in AFL Canberra fifth grade proved to be very rare.
The complete lack of national, or local, media coverage the Moths generally receive does raise questions about what exactly Pho Shizzle thought there was to gain from the partnership.
As farcical and burdensome as the aforementioned burdens placed on the Moths playing group were, the measure that caused the most controversy was the changing of the club song from the traditional “Could It Go The Moths Way?” to Pho Shizzle’s aggressive radio jingle.
The restaurant remains banned from local Gungahlin radio stations after a deluge of complaints about its advertising jingle’s lyrics, which features the phrase “get some xôi mặn up ya, princess” no less than seven times.
The change of song was particularly poorly received by the Moths supporter group, The Flames, who had produced the original club song.
Admittedly, given the Moths win total over the two-year period of the contract of six (if you count the annual bye as a win, which the Moths do), players and fans objections were more in the category of principled than practical. Nevertheless, the whole episode left sour and unsavoury tastes in the mouths of both club and restaurant.
The Moths will be returning to their original theme song in 2019 and the search for a new sponsor is underway.
Any businesses interested in the opportunity sponsor the Moths are encouraged to contact the club (email@example.com). If the past is any guide, the Moths can promise a devoted, monogamous relationship with the business for the period of the deal.