Football fans love the FA Cup, and the romantic nature of the games.
The lower or non-league teams taking on the Premiership giants always draws in an audience, with the chance of a David vs Goliath like take down, leading to a trip to Wembley for the smaller teams. This year though, one of these dream moments were overshadowed by an event which became known as Piegate.
It was amusing at first when cameras caught goalkeeper Wayne Shaw eating a pie on the side-line, and it wasn’t long before the images went viral online. The fallout from this though came the day after when it was revealed that it was seemingly a ploy by a website looking to place bets on whether he would eat the infamous pie or not.
To many people who witnessed this online or on television it would seem it was a storm in a teacup, but for advertisers it was something totally different. There are certain rules of conduct around the behaviours of football players, and of course other sporting athletes, and this was an obvious breaking of those rules. This one simple pie, caused Shaw to lose his job as goalkeeper.
The power of ‘moments’ in live events going viral online is something that we can never take for granted, and it does have an impact around the entertainment world. Just look at the chaos around who will be the next Doctor Who for examples of it.
It’s all fun of course, but rules are rules, and they must not be broken.
Advertising around football is a huge business, and some may argue that it goes a little too far. We just have to look online at how much impact on viewers this has especially when we search online for games, we find many sites offering to let us watch for free. Though these aren’t exactly trusted sites. Especially when companies like Sky would frown upon illegal use of their streams.
This is where we have to be careful, and not end up with pie on our faces. Applications such as Web of Trust may keep us protected from these types of sites, but we also have to use common sense and know when these sites aren’t legally allowed to show this kind of content. The kind of thoughtfulness which a certain pie eater appears not to have had.
It will be interesting to see how Piegate affects live football games, and if there will be new rules around eating products on the side-line. There is little doubt though, the next pie eaten during a football game will be by a punter, and not a substitute goalkeeper having some fun.