To Honor World Cup Heroes, Subway Stations in France and England Got Some New Names

Paris and London public transit honor tourney heroes

London's Southgate Station will be Gareth Southgate station for 48 hours. Getty Images

There are several ways to celebrate athletic heroics—statues, busts, naming of airports—yet transport authorities in the U.K. and France decided that renaming subway stations seemed apropos. With that, an outlying stop on the London Underground and several stations on the Paris Metro received new names to honor heroes of the World Cup, won Sunday by France.

Though England finished fourth in the tournament, this didn’t stop Transport for London from honoring the national team’s manager, Gareth Southgate, by tweaking the name of Southgate Station. The newly re-christened Gareth Southgate Sstation, quite a distance from Central London on the Piccadilly Line, was supported by Visa and will retain its new name for 48 hours.

Southgate was widely praised as the reason England punched above its usual weight and is also credited with becoming a fashion icon, sporting vests (known as waistcoats in the U.K.) on the sidelines throughout the World Cup in Russia. Additionally, British retailer Marks & Spencer saw a run on the item for what was termed ‘Waistcoat Wednesday,’ where Britons donned the haberdashery for last week’s semi-final against Croatia.

For their part, the world champions received their own transportation nod with six stations converting to honor Les Bleus heroes. Two stations referred to manager Didier Deschamps and another, memorializing author Victor Hugo, changed to Victor Hugo Lloris, referencing France’s goalkeeper.

The other stations were more pun and rhyme-centric, with Charles de Gaulle-Étoile renamed to ‘On a 2 Étoiles’ (referring to the number of World Cup-winning stars on the French team jerseys), Bercy to “Merci les Bleus” (Thank you, Blues) and Avron to “Nous Avron Gagné” (We won).

But the winner of them all may very well be The Louvre, as the Mona Lisa was bedecked in France’s blue jersey—and her smile may be a little wider today.

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.