Iris has marked the launch of the Gunners 2021/22 third jersey with Adidas x Arsenal, the latest installment of a long-running kit partnership with the sportswear brand. The mockumentary short turns the spotlight from star players to the fictional exploits of one 60-year-old superfan.
‘Where we belong’ charts the lifelong escapades of Len, a character notorious in North London circles for yanking Santa’s beard clean off as a suspicious child and ruining a magician’s routine by failing to disappear on cue.
The latest instalment of the Adidas x Arsenal partnership sees famous players past and present regale viewers with their own impressions of the larger-than-life figure, and how his unseen and unheard presence has been a point of continuity throughout the club’s history.
A constant presence in the stands, Len has never missed a game as players attest, warmly recalling the ‘lucky pants story’ as demonstrative of his dedication – an ill-advised promise never to remove his underwear until Arsenal lost a game, just as the invincible season began. Other fanciful tales include the time Len drove Dennis Bergkamp to an away match... in Turkey.
Underpinning all of these tall tales is a common realisation that it is a sense of belief that drives the team’s success, with myths and legends playing their part in building a sense of common purpose.
In a statement, Iris wrote: “Directed by a diehard lifetime Arsenal fan, the film is littered with insights and Easter eggs that only ‘true fans’, like Len, will pick up on. The campaign taps into the fact that, for fans, there is nothing more powerful than belief. Faithful Arsenal fans have always had an elite mentality and believe that no matter what happens on the pitch, they are one of the best clubs in the world and they will get back to where they belong – Len is the embodiment of that belief.”
Published on the official Arsenal YouTube channel, the work follows a social media stunt that went wrong in 2019 when an automated shirt name generator inevitably began spewing out offensive and racist phrases on to team shirts.