Packaging giant builds football fanbase to fill empty stadiums

PACKAGING giant DS Smith has created bespoke cardboard football fans to help fill gaps in the stands while stadiums remain closed to the public due to the Covid-19 situation.

With uncertainty surrounding when ‘real’ fans might be allowed to re-enter grounds, DS Smith has devised a solution to help create something of an atmosphere.

The firm has developed its ‘Return to Sport’ range, a series of customisable and recyclable options for clubs. DS Smith’s team can help design and deliver them anywhere in the country.

Each bespoke ‘fan’ is made from recycled materials and designed to slip over existing stadium seating. As a result of DS Smith’s digital print capabilities, the range can be custom printed to celebrate individual fans’ faces or messages of support and represent team colours, sponsors or charitable partnerships.

James Lomax, football fan and sales, marketing and innovation director at DS Smith explained, “DS Smith likes to see itself as a box to box midfielder and we’re ready to spring into action as the Premier League and Championship both get back underway. Sport is an integral part of many people’s lives and by using a versatile material like cardboard, we can support clubs across the country to create a unique atmosphere while fans stay home to support social distancing.

“Our ‘Back to Sport’ range is the ideal sustainable solution providing clubs with a blank canvas that can be fully customised, while also ensuring the material can be reused or recycled.”

The range is scalable from a lone fan to a full house of up to 100,000 supporters.