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The Genuine Index: Arsenal’s No More Red campaign

Every week Brazil sits down to evaluate a CSR campaign's authenticity and execution. We call this The Genuine Index.

Arsenal's No More Red initiative is now in its second year, aiming to support work in the community tackling knife crime and youth violence. The crux of the campaign is an all-white version of the famous red and white Arsenal kit, worn by the men's team in their FA Cup match against Oxford United on January 9. The Adidas kits will not be for sale, and all shirts produced will be gifted to volunteers or people trying to bring down knife crime.

The Genuine Index panel found the message of the campaign clear. The decision not to sell the kit to the public led us to believe this was a genuine attempt to make a difference, rather than a commercial stunt to sell shirts. There was also praise for the club’s drive to get the community involved throughout the project, alongside the charities that the campaign champions, given that not everyone that needs support is necessarily an Arsenal, or indeed football, fan.

The fact that this is the second year of this initiative is also positive. Far too many organisations initiate short-term CSR campaigns with little to no longer-term objectives.

However the panel pointed out a few areas of concern and potential improvement. As this is not Day 0 of the push, this year’s campaign should have demonstrated the work, achievements and impact already achieved over the past year. The panel recommended using stats, a video highlighting the work that volunteers did last year, or case studies from the young people it helped to make this campaign much more about the work, and less about the jersey.

Arsenal could make a stronger commitment than one FA Cup game. Regular follow ups to show progress and an ongoing narrative would keep this issue in the public domain and drive year-round action and change.

Overall, it was a well-received campaign, with marks lost for how little impact or progress was shown from the year prior, and the lack of a strong call to action outside of volunteering. It has the potential to be a built-upon ongoing campaign, not just an annual burst.

Score: 7.33*

The Genuine Index Series 2 - 2023

Arsenal’s No More Red = 7.33

* -10.0 (Total BS & Corporate Wash) - 10.0 (Totally Genuine). Our scores are an average of individual panel members’ individual scores.


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