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Old Trafford's commercial revolution

An article in today's Times describes 'the commercial revolution .... at Old Trafford as an unqualified success story and the envy of English football.'    

It is certainly the case that Manchester United has developed a more sophisticated and better resourced commercial operation that any other club and it has paid dividends for them financially.   Even their training kit is the sixth best selling replica shirt in Europe.

The Emirates FA Cup?

The Football Association have denied that a deal has been reached with Emirates Airlines to sponsor the FA Cup, but it is looking increasing likely.  A mouth watering £30m over three seasons is on the table.   The FA failed to find a sponsor this season after the expiry of a deal with Budweiser.

Row over Premier League sponsorship

Barclays Bank have indicated that they will not renew their £40m a year sponsorship of the Premier League when it ends in 2015-16.   They may well feel that they have extracted all the value they can from it and the association with such a wealthy competition may not be the best one for a bank given recent criticisms of the industry.   At times, they have also felt that their name is not mentioned enough in stories about the league.

Globalizing through franchise expansion

Globalization has affected football in many ways, not always ways that fans like.   In England today, fans are demonstrating at what they see as excessively high ticket prices at Premier League matches with clubs having made an overall profit for the first time in 15 years.  A global labour market has certainly emerged and there has been foreign direct investment in clubs.

What's in a name?

We live in an era in which the brand is everything.   Nothing is more integral to a club's brand than its name.  Name changes occur very rarely, if only because supporters resent them.

There are three main sets of circumstances in which a name change occurs.   One is when a club moves. When Arsenal moved north of the river it no longer made any sense to call them Woolwich Arsenal.  More controversially, when the Wimbledon 'franchise' was acquired for Milton Keynes, the new club took the name MK Dons.  

Big shirt sponsorship deal for Chelsea

Chelsea have secured the second biggest shirt sponsorship deal in English football history.   They have agreed a contract worth £40m a year with the Yokohama Rubber Company to start next season.  The club regards it as another important step towards being self-financing and compliant with financial fair play rules.

Barcelona in best economic position in history

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeou has claimed in an interview with the Financial Times weekend magazine that Barcelona are in the best economic position in their history.   Annual revenues have tripled in a decade to €530m.   Only Real Madrid does better with €604m.

Barca probably have the lowest average ticket prices of any of the top 15 clubs in Europe.  However, after eschewing commercial shirt sponsorships for many years, it is now highly reliant on the €30m a year it gets from its Qatari shirt sponsor.

No more Wonga at Blackpool

Wonga is to end its shirt sponsorship at Blackpool after five years.   The Championship strugglers may not find it easy to attract a new sponsor.

The payday lending sector has been hit hard by a tightening of regulations, although, as a market leader Wonga is expected to survive while other firms cease trading.   Its sponsorship of Newcastle United will continue, although its name is being removed from children's kits.

West Ham sponsors go bust

West Ham's sponsors Alpari have gone bust after turmoil in the foreign exchange markets following a change of policy on the Swiss franc.   They sponsored both the shirts and one of the main stands in a deal worth £3m a year.

Blue skies over Cardiff

Cardiff City fans have won their battle to revert to their traditional blue colours, owner Vincent Tan having finally seen sense.   He re-branded the club in red kit because he thought that it would increase the club's appeal in global markets.

Making Cardiff City a global brand was always going to be a big ask.  Playing them in a red kit was never going to make that much difference.   It was a bad marketing ploy which damaged the relationship with fans.  The Bluebirds were rewarded for the change with their second highest attendance of the season yesterday.