With the whole of Europe gripped by football fever, leading credit card firm MBNA has created the first-ever Floating Fan Zone on the River Thames. MBNA, with a long tradition of supporting football at all levels, has transformed one of the 220-passenger MBNA Thames Clippers vessels, into an eye-catching soccer shrine in the centre of London.
Wrapped in grass, with TVs showing the games, the Floating Fan Zone means travellers, commuters and tourists alike will never miss a minute of their football. To launch this one-off month-long experience, MBNA has teamed up with the National Football Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup victory.
On board for the launch (Thursday, 16th June) will be football icons including the match ball from the Wembley final in which Sir Geoff Hurst scored his historic hat-trick and the match shirt worn by inspirational skipper Bobby Moore. These artefacts form part of the National Football Museum’s 1966 World Cup Exhibition. The exhibition opens at the museum in Manchester on 25th June, and at Wembley Stadium on 11th July. But until 10th July, football fans will be able to join the heroes of ’66. MBNA and the National Football Museum have collaborated to install a life-size reproduction of the famous image of Bobby Moore being carried aloft with the World Cup on the Floating Fan Zone.
Fans will be able to take a selfie and put themselves in the picture, sharing their images online through social media with the hashtag #66selfie. Of course, the Floating Fan Zone is for fans of all teams so they don’t miss any of the action over the summer of football. By using #FloatingFanZone, passengers can also discover some special football-related surprises on board to brighten up their journey every Football Friday – whether their side is winning or not.
Through MBNA’s collaboration with Thames Clippers, all vessels in the fleet are now fully contactless payment-enabled so passengers can pay quickly and efficiently across London. MBNA is a pioneer of contactless payment technology. Its customers are among the biggest users of contactless in the UK.
In this summer of sport, MBNA is also launching its new brand campaign on national TV. The new advert, which launched on 15th June, is entitled “Good Skills, Bad Skills” and shows the MBNA geeks caught up in the football frenzy and trying some fancy tricks in the office. It soon becomes clear that, when it comes to the beautiful game, they have bad skills but when it comes to everything “credit cardy”, they have good award-winning skills.
James Poole, Strategy and Innovation executive at MBNA, said: “MBNA has a long-standing commitment to football at all levels. From our many Premier League club partnerships through to our support for Chester FC in the National League, we understand how important the game is to people. Football is part of the language and the fabric of life. When your country is playing, you don’t want to miss a minute. That’s why we’ve adapted this MBNA Thames Clippers vessel to ensure travelers don’t miss any of the action.
“Our latest brand commercial also reflects that dedication to football. It plays on the contrast between MBNA being “boringly good” at credit card skills, whilst being really bad at football skills. This advert brings to life, in a humorous and topical way, MBNA’s dedication to being the best at the boring stuff that makes credit cards work – and our pioneering work to bring contactless payments to the UK is another example of how MBNA is dedicated to delivering the best card experience for our customers.”
Dr. Kevin Moore of the National Football Museum added: “The 1966 World Cup Exhibition will feature the greatest collection of 1966 World Cup Final exhibits ever brought together under one roof.
“It features interactive, sets and stories that reveal just how important an event this was to the nation in terms of culture, sport, economy and legacy. It’s a real insight into why England winning the World Cup in 1966 was about far more than simply football.”