Familiar street scenes around Thornton Heath are set to feature in a new advert for the world’s largest sports brand – Nike.

Residents received letters explaining that Nike would be filming at several locations around the north of the borough including in Thornton Heath and South Norwood.

On Thursday morning  a fake bus stop was erected on Ross Road in front of  Grangewood Park and a large scarf, featuring what looked like Crystal Palace  colours, draped around the railings.

This led to speculation that it was part of filming for the comedy drama Ted Lasso, which is based on a fictional team AFC Richmond and follows the fortunes of a small-time American football coach who moves to England to manage a professional soccer team and just happens to be set at Crystal Palace football club.

The Eagles Selhurst Park stadium is the backdrop for the hit show which has won an array of awards including a Golden Globe  but the third season which is currently being screened on Apple is the last in the series and finished filming in November. 

However, there may still be a link as Nike recently announced a partnership with Ted Lasso selling an AFC Richmond collection with jerseys, fleeces, scarves, and more.

The advert definitely has football as the theme as in  the pictures – snapped by locals – you can see three teenage boys in tracksuits with a football. They are wearing a red and blue scarf which has the distinctive Nike tick logo on it.

The Nike brand features heavily in Ted Lasso and there is even a Twitter account dedicated to the Nikes of Lasso showing some of the  trainers worn in the show by Jason Sudeikis who plays the loveable coach.

It also features other actors wearing the brand in the show including Sam Obisanya, played by  Toheeb Jimoh,  who also has a local connection to the area because he attended nearby Norwood School, in West Norwood, and still lives with his parents in Brixton.

The film crew were also filming around Norwood Junction,  at a nearby fish and chip shop on Whitehorse Road and in the basket ball court in Grangewood which overlooks Selhurst Park.

The letter to residents refers to  ‘Nike’ -Blink’ and is signed by location manager Titus Penate.

It goes on to say: “We will be filming on Ross Road, creating a scene of football fans waiting at a fake bus stop.”

Nike Air Yeezy ‘Blink’  were one of three sneakers that kicked off Kanye West’s  partnership with Nike, which ended in 2015 when he switched to Adidas – and were sometimes referred to as blink.

The location manager, also worked on a Nike film featuring Adwoa Aboah, a model and mental health activist, which was screened last year.

The cast of Lasso, including Toheeb Jimoh, paid a special visit to the White House on Monday, meeting with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to discuss the importance of addressing mental health to promote overall well-being.

Ahead of the cast’s visit, the president, who has made tackling
the mental health crisis a priority for his administration, tweeted a photo showing the namesake character’s philosophy — “Believe” — written on a sign tacked above the door to the Oval Office.

Recently Toheeb, whose next project is in Amazon Prime’s new series The Power, returned to his former school where he fell in love with acting, for an interview with CBS News.

Finally, the last local connection to the Ted Lasso and Thornton Heath story, is that local actress Mitra Djalili appears as cast member Chloe, in Season Three, working in the office of AFC Richmond’s dazzling Head of Marketing Keeley Jones. See if you can spot her!

Mitra recently Tweeted: “Being a little iddy bit in Ted Lasso is really special.”

The Chronicle first wrote about the Ted Lasso Crystal Palace link in April 2021. Read all about how Crystal Palace became part of the legend that is the Lasso here.

Ted’s Red ‘N’ Blue Army