AFC Richmond doesn't exist but it does exist. Ted Lasso's club shirt has become a reality

AFC Richmond doesn't exist but it does exist.  Ted Lasso's club shirt has become a reality

Nike, in conjunction with the release of the third season, formalized the agreement as technical sponsor of the English team invented in the TV series. The passage between fiction and the (real) money of the market reaches rare heights of surrealism

Apple TV, statistics say, currently represents only a niche in the vast world of platforms stream online, yet it has produced one of the most popular series of recent years. We are not just talking about the (many) prizes they have raised Ted Lasso he worldwide success, but of all that was born on the sidelines of the TV series. In short, the third season has just begun and everyone is eager to see it after a long wait. But why has Ted Lasso become so iconic?

The charm of football that does not exist

Before fantasy football, fans from all over the world spent hours upon hours creating teams and leagues that didn't exist between Subbuteo and notebooks. Some still do it fantasy has always been the engine of passion that affects the whole world of football. Anyone who teaches young footballers, from toddlers to teenagers, cannot limit themselves to patterns and exercises. A good educator must tickle their imagination, both on and off the pitch, an exercise so important that it remains forever impressed even among those who, growing up, stopped playing football. We avoid any spoilers on the third season, but it is important to tell what was born from the pen of the screenwriters, including Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein, who - starting from the fantasies of fans - have created a real and engaging world, with a story that manages to to cheer for a team and players that don't exist.

For those who haven't heard of it yet, Ted Lasso tells the story of an American football manager who is hired to manage a Premier League team in England, despite having never managed a football club before. The plot is simple, but what makes the series so special are the characters and their quirks. It is no coincidence that many secondary characters have also been well developed, each with its own history and character, precisely to bring together more parallel stories together with the fate of the football team.

Not even the protagonists of the series are perfect and calculating models, on the contrary they represent real people with strengths and weaknesses so much as to remember those who tread the minor fields of third series football. Bill Lawrence, the creator of the series and former director of Scrubs, is known for writing characters that touch the hearts of fans, Ted Lasso is no exception.

From the Newteam to the AFC Richmond passing through the myths of cinema

Behind all this is the AFC Richmond team. Which doesn't exist. Or maybe yes. Here you enter a kind of metaverse, between television and reality. It's not the first time this has happened. The Newteam, the team of Holly and Benji, still has fans all over the world who buy the products sold everywhere and in every form.

Not to mention Dogdeball, a film that has managed to give birth to a sport with 93 minutes of (hilarious) vision where, paradoxically, the real goal was precisely to ridicule the mythologizing of competition by staging a discipline that had nothing heroic and certainly not sporty . Yet, due to heterogeneity of purposes, since its airing there has been an explosion of gadgets and objects that refer to the film.

At the end of the 90s, another film had tickled the passion of the spectators in the same way. "That carpet set the tone for the room": anyone who does not know the quote must recover as soon as possible "The Big Lebowski" by Ethan and Joel Coen, where the carpet completes the existence of the Dude, Jeff Bridges, becoming the symbol of the film cult that, since its release, has become an object of veneration among essays, discussions on social media and merchandising (carpets included).

Ted Lasso enters this pantheon as a true star. Such a colossus Nike, in conjunction with the release of the third season, has in fact formalized the agreement as technical sponsor of AFC Richmond. Here the passage between fiction and the (real) money of the market reaches rare peaks of surrealism. Suffice it to say that, during the first two seasons of the series, the club was sponsored by Verani Sports (obviously also an imaginary reality) with a blue playing shirt with a vertical red stripe edged in gold along the left side. Now the everything is available on the famous brand's storeyou can wear it sportswear of a fantasy team in exchange for sound euros.

In all truth AFC Richmond had begun its climb to "football that counts (money)", already last autumn when, surprisingly, EA had included it among the Fifa 23 teams together with its stadium, the imaginary "Nelson Road” in London located in the (royal) Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Also in the video game there are kits, gadgets and other content to unlock in Fifa Ultimate Team and in the Pro Clubs. In this case, the power of video games, the crossovers it also includes the presence of Ted Lasso himself. To live the career of a coach that doesn't exist.

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