Doncaster Rovers left with egg on faces over new kit unveiling plan
The joke was on Doncaster Rovers as they attempted to prank some of the club’s players with the unveiling of their latest kit.
Rovers attempted to play a long con over the design of their new home shirt, planting seeds and calling in outside help in a bid to trick players into believing they would be turning out in horrendous shirts for the new campaign.
But, rather than being disgusted by the fake designs, the players actually liked them, which forced a hasty change of tone and a series of re-edits on the unveiling video as the club’s marketing team admitted they had been left with egg on their faces.
The long con started at the end of March when the club announced that James Coppinger would be assisting with the design of the new kit, following on from his work on the commemorative gold shirt last term.
It was in fact, the early stages of the ruse and gave license for some of the designs to be on the more outrageous side.
This included one design where an image of Coppinger himself took up a large portion of the front of the shirt, alongside others including a huge version of the Rovers badge or a nod to Doncaster’s mining heritage with the incorporation of pit head winding gears.
In order to sell the validity of the designs, Rovers called in the help of Doncaster’s own Tan France, star of the Netflix fashion series Queer Eye. Via a video call from his US home, France spoke passionately about his love for the designs.
The scene was set then to get the reactions of some of the players, with cameras hidden in rooms in the hope of capturing expected blunt honesty.
Instead, there was only positivity from the likes of AJ Greaves, Ro-Shaun Williams and Kyle Knoyle, with the marketing team seeing months of planning crumble before their eyes.
Believing the players were only being polite, others were sent in the room to give them a gentle nudge to share their honest thoughts, including boss Richie Wellens, but it turned out they were indeed impressed with the designs.
Acknowledging the backfiring of their plans, Rovers released the footage as planned, including shots of Greaves modelling the three fake shirts before finally unveiling their new home kit in a much more traditional manner.
Captain Tom Anderson and striker Fejiri Okenabirhie were pictured in the new shirts which are mainly red with very thin white hoops, which has proved controversial for some supporters.
Adult shirts are £45 and juniors £35 and are available to buy now from the club website or in the store at the Frenchgate.
Watch Rovers’ unveiling video above.