Bohemians have garnered international attention today with the release of next season's away kit. They didn't so via expensively-produced unveiling video as some clubs have: instead the scrutiny is for the kit itself, featuring an embossed image of Bob Marley's face.
"The Home of Irish Football was graced in the 1970s by Thin Lizzy and the Boomtown Rats, in the 1980s by Bob Marley, Meatloaf and Black Sabbath, and in the 1990s by Faith No More, Sonic Youth, Ice Cube and the Red Hot Chili Peppers", read Bohs' press release. "This jersey, designed by Bohemian FC in conjunction with our new kit supplier O’Neills, gives a nod to that history – and to the stadium’s special place in the hearts of both football and music fans".
Marley played at Dalymount Park in July, 1980 in what proved to be his final outdoor appearance.
The kit was the brainchild of Bohs' Marketing Director Daniel Lambert, and the idea has been swimming in his mind for three years.
Sales of the kit, says Lambert, are already exceeding expectations and has also proved to be a marketing success. While it has been featured on Reputable Sports Sites Ireland-wide, it has also been picked up internationally and been featured by, among others, SoFoot in France, Copa90 in the UK, and Sky Italia.
"We are up against the English Premier League. It annoys me when I walk into a pub and see the list of live sport being shown in the next month, and the FAI Cup final isn't on it. That's the size of the marketing machine you're up against. So you have to think outside the box to get attention".
Lambert also says that he has been struck by the number of people who didn't know that Marley played in Dalymount all those years ago, and says that the kit is a way of accentuating the history of Dalymount Park. "It is a way of making more people aware of the history of Dalymount", says Lambert. "It was his only gig in Ireland, and it was his last outdoor gig".
The famous ground - which has also played host to Pele, Zidane, Thin Lizzy, and the Boomtown Rats - is slated to be torn down in 2020, ahead of its redevelopment. "The day we walk into the new Dalymount will be great, but we will miss the old place", says Lambert.