How Sealy pulled off an April fool’s prank with the help of the Wigan Warriors rugby league club, and what it has planned for this year’s Telford Bed Show.
World’s number one bed brand, Sealy UK recently teamed up with its World of Sport ambassadors, the Wigan Warriors, to take part in an April Fool’s Day prank - filmed following their World Club Championship victory earlier this season. The prank was designed to showcase a softer side to the rugby team and revealed that their secret training weapon was a sport dubbed as ‘Pillow Pilates’.
Of course, the prank wasn’t all fun and games and there was a scientific reason behind it. Stress and tension relief are crucial to achieving a good night’s sleep and, with such a physically demanding job, this is of paramount importance for the Wigan Warriors. It also transpires that not many people realise how important it is for the mind to be relaxed before going to sleep, or indeed before embarking on a high-pressure challenge, such as a big sporting event. This simply added to the authenticity of the prank - making it extremely believable that the Wigan Warriors would be advocates of this made-up team-building and pressure relieving activity.
The fun prank saw Pillow Pilates portrayed as a glorified pillow fight, designed to offer some relief from the team’s intensive training regime of cardio and weights. Pillow Pilates training supposedly took place weekly, with every team member being presented with a Sealy pillow before congregating on the rugby pitch. Once assembled, the fight began on command of a whistle and continued until there was only one man standing.
Director of Performance at Wigan Warriors, Mark Bitcon, who played a part in the joke, commented at the time: “The team has an extreme training regime, which pushes them to their physical limit. Pillow Pilates was dubbed as a great way for them to let off a bit of steam and channel their competitive personalities, which is so crucial to the game. Since we were using pillows, there was a very low risk of anyone getting hurt, so the team has a real opportunity to give it their all – a mindset we’re keen on capturing before a big game. Needless to say, we joked the pitch was often quite a sight during a battle, but everyone was reported to leave with a smile on their face.”
Sealy also managed to persuade the players to get fully behind the prank, with player Sam Tomkins commenting on the fun stunt: “I have to admit, I suspected it might be some sort of initiation ceremony when I first joined the team. Having never done anything like this before, I was initially a little reluctant to join in, but now I’m the first one on the pitch brandishing my pillow. It’s all a bit of fun and an activity that really brings the team together.”
Finally, to cement the prank’s authenticity, a photoshoot and video took place with Sky Sports reporter, Brian Carney, whilst the Wigan Warriors were engaged in a staged Pillow Pilates training session.
While the Wigan Warriors are poised to attend the Telford Bed Show with Sealy, prior to this event the bed brand will be once again hosting the Brooklands Bed Show - a highly-regarded event held in the world-famous museum on 16 – 17 May. Here, Sealy plans to unveil a range of exciting new products; including the new-look Posturepedic. Taking inspiration from worldwide design advances, the re-launch of this range incorporates an exciting new set of aesthetics and technology.
As well as showcasing innovative advances in bed technology, this show also provides a unique opportunity for buyers and industry insiders to experience Sealy’s entire range in one room. Neil Robinson, sales and marketing director at Sealy, said: “Our Brooklands Show has become extremely popular throughout the industry, as it provides delegates with the opportunity to gather valuable insight on sector trends and developments, as well as learn about Sealy’s entire product range. Our 2016 show was such a great success, so we are hoping to build on that enthusiasm this year.
“We are dedicated to innovation here at Sealy and strive to provide new and exciting products for our buyers and their customers. That’s why we’re so excited about our Posturepedic re-launch; it truly is a whole new look for Sealy UK. Given the show’s timing – several months before Telford – it gives attendees the chance to get ahead of the game, and shouldn’t be missed.”
Sealy looks forward to welcoming its World of Sport ambassadors, the Wigan Warriors to Telford in May – no pillow fights allowed this time though!