If Hatch did summer jobs, they’d prob… and we’ll stop that there, before a certain Danish lager brand come baying for royalties.
Well, this summer we did and it is! Tasked with maximising the reach of our client Hisense’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia we set out to recruit someone to be paid to watch the Three Lions’ journey through the finals from their very own front room.
The job ad was quickly covered by the Sport Bible, Independent, Daily Mirror and the Sun with journalists hailing it as the perfect once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be paid to watch the footy.
Over 600 applicants put themselves forward to become Hisense UK’s Armchair Reporter in just four weeks. With a salary of £1,000 and a brand-new 55-inch Hisense U7A on the table for the successful candidate, the competition was tightly contested and came to a tense round of phone interviews to eek out the final details that would separate the great from the good.
Finally, the decision was made, Ben Groom from Harrogate came out on top and secured the top job. With his positive and grounded prediction for England’s run in the upcoming tournament still ringing in the ears of the recruitment board, Ben made a start on his preparations. Top of the list was a briefing from one of the UK’s top sports journalists, John Cross. John took Ben through what it would take to offer expert opinion, analysis and reaction to the summer’s action and of course John offered to be on hand for any advice Ben would need over the coming weeks. Ben was now ready for kick-off.
The tournament began with a thriller against Tunisia, this was the first time in a generation an England team had come out of the blocks quite so purposefully. The Three Lions’ first half performance, bar some shoddy finishing and a questionable penalty decision, blew the north African opposition away with fast attacking football – Ben had plenty to get his teeth into. The Armchair Reporter laid it on thick, “it’s coming home” he professed and mounted praise on Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Southgate’s substitutes, Ben and England we’re both off to a flyer.
Less than a week later England faced their next potential banana skin, the Panamanians. Fresh from their first ever World Cup fixture, England were expecting to face a team that may not have the same technical and tactical know-how as our elite performers, but would no doubt come out fighting with everything they had. Pre-game, Ben had the opportunity to interview England Legend Micheal Owen during a live streamed Facebook event to gain insight from a player who has been there and done it at the top level. Ben then spent the game sat with Owen and fellow football fans, Lloyd Griffith, Nathen from Where is Football and Joshua Pieters.
It’s coming home, right?