How Cardboard Cutouts Of Fans Boost Your Moral In Sports?

Author: Mansi


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Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, sports activities had been at a halt for almost 2 months. European countries like Italy, Germany, and the UK have resumed sports. But the cheers in the stadiums are still missing. As only a handful of viewers are allowed to watch the games, alternative ways to motivate sportspersons are being implemented. One such example was seen in the Bundesliga – the German Football League. After an abrupt stoppage of sports in the country, the League was uncertain. But Germany resumed it on 16 May. Fans made elaborate arrangements so that their presence is not missed by the players. 

What Is The Cardboard Cutout Plan?

Borussia Monchengladbach- currently standing third in the Bundesliga, came up with this plan to cheer the players. It was launched as a campaign under the name "Stay at home. Be in the stands." The entries came flooding in. Everyone was rooting for their favorite team. The supporters had to follow a simple procedure. All they had to do was sign-in on the app, send a picture they wish to become the cardboard cutout, and make payment for it. 

Fans got creative and started sharing pictures in jerseys and props, making poses that describe their prominence in the actual playfield. The fans purchased their cutouts for £16.50 and ensured their presence for the home game in Borussia-Park in Monchengladbach, Germany. These cutouts were installed before the May 23 match, and these cardboard fans greeted the players upon their entry. All those associated with the club played their role. The staff, fans, and coaches equally participated. The trick has worked well. Before the shutdown, Borussia Monchengladbach stood at fourth position, being 6 points behind their counterpart on the third. And after the resumption of games, they steered ahead. 

How The Idea Sprouted?

The idea first dawned upon Ingo Muller sometime in April. He was in isolation in Berlin at that moment. He is a member of the club of supporters for the Borussia Monchengladbach team. When he was struck with the uniqueness and the appeal of it, he contacted some app developers and described this child of his genius mind. Soon the app launched and the idea became a grand hit amongst the people. 

Along with the home supporters of Borussia Monchengladbach, the visiting sides also set up their cutouts. We should hope it was to drown the spirits of the team, and not otherwise. Soon the orders crossed an odd number of 10,000 making the cutouts fill the stands. On being asked about the prospect of copying of this plan, Ingo Muller responded that others do not dare do it. Some clubs are already jealous of this ingenious idea. 

Is This The Future Of Sports?

With the pandemic of COVID-19 still hitting the world hard, sports have not been completely resumed. Amidst this uncertainty, it is good to assume that the games will not be opened for audiences anytime soon. However, playing in an empty stadium can be immensely disheartening for athletes. 

The satisfaction of seeing the crowds roar and form Mexican waves after will be immensely missed. But the stands can always be filled with cardboard cutouts of fans. Copying the idea of Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga is a good start for other leagues around the world as well. It would help shake the sense of despair and bring a vibrant view, if not loud cheers for the players. 

There is no harm in providing the environment athletes have always played in. If the social distancing guidelines have to become standards across the globe, a simulation of supporters is going to go a long way. Fans will always be keen on having their players’ backs. 

How Sustainable Is The Change?

Currently, there is only one example of the cardboard cutouts being made to witness the games. However, there is an emotional value to it. Supporters were asked about their intentions behind getting their cutouts planted in Borussia-Park. They responded that if the players can put themselves in danger and play to help us restore normalcy, we can play our part too. All fans are deeply attached to the sporting spirits of their favorites. We may not forget the madness of some supporters who claim to do anything for their teams. Well, in this case, they just have to get a cutout printed, by signing up on an app. If the procedure had not been this easy, we might not have seen such results. But with a few clicks, taps, an upload, and a payment, this task is done. The simplicity appeals largely. 


It doesn’t matter if the coronavirus is leaving the world or not, sports will resume and continue. The steely determination of players and fans has made it clear. The world will adapt and improvise, adopting new methods. Sports have been fascinating and exhilarating for humankind since times immemorial, and nothing can stop them. The spirits will always be high!

 


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