Southampton FC Return of the Sash

Kate Lynham

Southampton FC: Return of the Sash

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‘Capturing Southampton FC’s long history in an 8-bit pixel style was no easy feat but the resulting game is a suitably retro, light-hearted and humorous throwback to the team’s most classic moments. By including plenty of easter eggs along the way, Defying The Odds is a sure-fire way to get football fans smiling while promoting the kit in a really fresh way.’

Kate Lynham, Creative Director, UNIT9
Scan the code to play the game. Mobile only!

The background

The 2020/2021 season marks the 135th anniversary of the Southampton FC’s
formation. They wanted to make the launch of their new home and third kits extra special, so we created a mobile game to celebrate all the ways the club has ‘Defied the Odds’ through the years.

Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash

The execution

Defying the Odds is an exciting mobile 8-bit pixel style browser game that takes you back to 1885 when the club was first formed. As you play, you dribble your way through history, seeing some of Southampton’s most iconic (and less flattering) moments. The game also helped reveal the club’s new first and third kits: After every level, a new piece of clothing is unveiled. The more levels you play, the more items you unlock.

We defied the odds, too! Our team designed, built, and executed the mobile game entirely from home during lockdown—and we did it all in just seven weeks. Like the Saints, we kept on marching, even when obstacles got in our way. Seeing the fun, retro experience come to life made all of the late nights worth it.

It wasn’t easy to distill 135 years of the club’s history into one experience, but we chose their highs, lows, and most memorable moments to represent the team’s past and look toward the future. We were sure to include plenty of Easter eggs for diehard Saints fans, too.

‘I loved creating every single one of the Easter Eggs hidden in the game, even if there were plenty of moments where the developers thought I was crazy and I had to explain really obscure footballing history so they could understand why these assets had to appear where they did!’

Kate Lynham, Creative Director, UNIT9
Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash

The results

When Defying the Odds went live, tons of people played and shared it. The game was widely regarded as the coolest launch kit of all the clubs and set a new standard for launches. Watching lifelong fans discover our obscure Easter eggs and new fans get in on the fun was extremely rewarding.

Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash
Southampton FC Return of the Sash

Credits

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