The 17-Year-Old From Ipswich Who Changed adidas’ Shirt Policy With One Tweet

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​adidas were ​forced to change their shirt printing policy recently after a fan alerted them that their system did not allow Arsenal and England star Jordan Nobbs’ name to be printed on the back of replica shirts. 

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Freya Allum, 17, got in touch with the global sports brand when her attempts to buy an Arsenal shirt with the England midfielder’s name were scuppered by adidas’ personalisation guidelines. 

adidas were quick to offer Freya a flawless solution, and suggested she instead get ‘Nobbs’ or ‘Jordan’ printed instead. However, when the sixth form student from Ipswich decided she did not want to get her younger sister an Arsenal shirt with ‘Nobbs’ on the back for Christmas, she ‘sent out a tweet on a whim’ and then popped off to do a shift at Waitrose.

When she next checked her phone, she was pretty blown away by the response. 

Speaking to 90min, Freya said: “I don’t really use my Twitter so wasn’t expecting much of a reaction. I tweeted it then went to work and by the time I got home it was on 250 likes and Jordan Nobbs had liked it. It forced adidas to start responding to me again as they’d started ignoring me.”

Her post was retweeted over 100 times, and as a result, adidas altered their printing policy. However, a printing limit for female player’s names still remains – a restriction that is not in place for male shirts, and this is something Freya would like to discuss with adidas.

“I hope to ask them about adding the female players names to the drop down list so that they are not excluded if their names are longer than the 10 character limit,” she added.

The lack of awareness adidas appear to have surrounding the names of female footballers and the demands of fans is bizarre, considering that, in a pioneering move, they announced that they would hand out the same World Cup winning bonuses to adidas-sponsored female players as they did to their male counterparts at the 2018 World Cup

Despite this, Freya still had to remind adidas how successful Jordan Nobbs was in an attempt to get her name printed on the back of her shirt. 

Jordan Nobbs

When I first saw it [the personalisation error message] I was surprised, but thought it might just be a mistake,” she continued. “When I messaged them and they said that it wasn’t a mistake and they wouldn’t be able to change it, even after I brought up all of her achievements, I was even more shocked, which is when I decided to tweet publicly.”

After her tweet eventually ended in success, Freya tweeted a picture of her delighted younger sister in her brand new Jordan Nobbs ​Arsenal shirt.

“She was happy Nobbsy liked the original tweet, then even happier when she ended up with her Christmas present earlier, then completely speechless when I showed her that she’d [Nobbs] liked the picture of her in the shirt,” the life-long Arsenal fan revealed. 

This is now Freya’s second claim to fame, after the 17-year-old appeared on Comedy Central panel show ‘Blockbusters’, hosted by popular Irish comedian Dara O’Briain. 

When asked what she received more recognition for, Freya was split.

“I think my teachers were more impressed with me for getting in ​the Times, but I am still getting people coming up to me congratulating me on ‘Blockbusters’ and that was months ago, so it’s about equal I think”.

And there we have the ultimate benchmark for the growth of women’s football. You can take attendances, you can measure participation rates and you can scrutinise viewing figures. But they pale into insignificance when comparing the status of the women’s game to that of popular British comedians. Jordan Nobbs is now on a level pegging with Dara O’Briain? There’s the World Cup legacy for you.

Watch your back Michael McIntyre; Leah Williamson is coming for you.

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