Hear what went down at the launch night of ‘Where Everyone Plays’ – Coca-Cola’s new campaign celebrating what makes the Premier League the world’s best… 

The English Premier League is widely regarded as football’s best. But key to the league’s lofty status? The faith, devotion and passion of its fans – which is exactly the focus of Coca-Cola’s new campaign, ‘Where Everyone Plays’, which marks the start of our new three and a half year partnership with football’s greatest league.

Kicking off the campaign is our new 90-second ad, which shines a light on the nation’s passion for the beautiful game. Featuring Manchester United and England star, Jesse Lingard; pro-turned-pundit, Jermaine Jenas; and over 250 real fans from each of the Premier League’s 20 clubs, the ad is all about the power football has to bring people together, no matter where they’re from.

But what was it like to take part in? And what does the ad mean to the stars – and fans – who’re actually in it? We popped down to the ‘Where Everyone Plays’ launch event in London’s Shoreditch to find out...

Over 250 real fans from each of the Premier League’s 20 clubs starred in the ad.

Discussions, dance-offs, and a foosball fixture to remember

“I’ll go full ninja!” Those were the words of our host for the evening Dan Walker, promising there’d be trouble if any ‘Where Everyone Plays’ event attendees were tempted to record the world premier screening of our new Premier League partnership TV ad. Thankfully no one dared to.

But the night was about much more than just kicking back and watching our awesome new ad. As well as recognisable faces from the worlds of sport, media and television, the crowd featured many of the ad’s 250 real-life fans, who were treated to a live back and forth interview with their fellow co-stars Jesse and Jermaine; the latter of whom was keen to share insider secrets about his slightly fishy role.

“You’d be surprised how hard it is to act with vinegar in your eye,” Jermaine joked to the crowd.

Jesse’s role may have been a little more far removed from the fish and chip shop, but it was definitely in line with our campaign’s mission of bringing people closer to the action. Think the fans he greets in the ad do a good job of looking surprised to see him? That’s because they were – we captured their genuine reaction to seeing the England footballer for the first time.

Jesse Lingard has built up a strong connection with his fans.

With Instagram videos of him playing football in the park with youngsters on his day off, Jesse is a footballer known for the strong connection he’s built with the fans. It’s no surprise then that ‘Where Everyone Plays’ has ignited something close to his heart: “For me it’s all about interacting with the fans,” he says. “It’s great to have a platform like this to link with them.”

But it wasn’t all chip shop talk. As the interview progressed, Jermaine, Jesse and Dan were also keen to give their views on a Premier League title race that could go down to the wire. Liverpool and Manchester City are the two front runners, but Jermaine maintained a glimmer of confidence that his old team, Tottenham Hotspur, could still cause an upset.

So who does Jesse fancy for the title? “None of them,” he joked.

Jesse and Manchester United have both seen a resurgence in form of late, thanks to the arrival of Interim Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. And, having previously played under his new boss for the club’s reserve team, Jesse believes their well-established relationship is now paying dividends. “It’s great to have someone who knows you. Ole takes each day as it comes, and now we’ve got a lot of momentum.”

‘Where Everyone Plays’ marks the beginning of Coca-Cola’s three and a half year partnership with the Premier League.

Then, after the sit-down with Dan, Jesse and Jermaine greeted the fans and put their footballing skills on show – albeit on a smaller scale than what they’re used to. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a referee on hand to keep score, but the pair’s table football contest was really one for the ages – as was Jesse’s dance-off with one confident fan.

Diversity’s the name of the game

Once things settled down, we caught up with Jermaine to ask why diversity – across both the players and fans – is the reason for the Premier League being the world’s best.

“If you look at stadiums week-in, week-out, no matter where you are – be it bottom of the league Huddersfield, or title contenders Liverpool – they’re packed out. People from all different walks of life and ethnicities are there and they’re loving the game,” he says. “It’s great to see that the Premier League has been able to create something like that. And now that Coca-Cola has come on board, it’s adding that X-factor by bringing the fans even closer to it all. That’s special to me.”

To Spurs fan – and ‘Where Everyone Plays’ ad star – Josh, the diversity found within both the squads and the fanbase seem very closely linked: “Those diverse players awaken the different cultures within the fans. You can relate to a player if they’re from where you’re from, if you have the same background.”

The Premier League Trophy was in attendance.

And for Arsenal fan Kelechi, who also starred in the ad, the experience of being on-set felt like the very essence of ‘Where Everyone Plays’: “I got to meet other Arsenal fans I haven’t met before,” he explains; “people who had even flown in from other parts of the country. We were all singing together, all in harmony. It was a great atmosphere.”

Ultimately, bringing people together – and fans closer to the game – is what ‘Where Everyone Plays’ is all about. And where it makes a huge impact. As someone who has been both a player and fan, we asked Jermaine for his take:

“I remember when I was playing in the Nottingham Forest youth team. I was sitting in a bus stop waiting to go home after training, and Dougie Freedman, who played in the first team, pulled up and asked me where I was heading to – he gave me a lift back home. I’ve never forgotten that day. Never.

“It was a small thing for him, but a massive thing for me,” he says. “When Jesse got out of his car [to play football with kids in the park], it was normal for him. But the impact it had on those kids is huge. They’ll never forget that day for the rest of their lives.”

And that’s exactly what we mean when we say that the Premier League is ‘Where Everyone Plays’.

Want to find out what else Coca-Cola is doing with our new Premier League partnership? Check out our Premier League Hub for all the latest updates.