Erm, they’re Newcastle fans. Witness the black and white (adidas) kits.
Dan, that’s quite a point you make, oops. Still, there’s another pic from this series at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffedoe/257653553/ showing the Newcastle supporters, only one is wearing Adidas, so my point still stands.
one picture and a massive generalisation … great
Ben, do me a favour then, stand outside the stadium and count the number of Man U supporters who wear Nike and then stand outside the Newcastle stadium and count the number of their supporters who wear Adidas. I’ll bet the ratio is within 10% of what’s reflected in these photos.
I think you make your point but it isn’t a very good one.
Why do you think sports brands sponsor teams like Manchester United? To help sell trainers to the people that go to the games? Of course. But that’s a tiny part of the answer.
What about the people watching at home. The average age of season ticket holder at Old Trafford must be be at least 30. What about the fans watching at home, the kids and teenagers choosing their brands to wear to school or muck about in. Who do you think they look up to? Who are their shared hereos?
What about people playing (rather than just watching) football, what do you think they wear? Where do you think they formulate their views on what brands and boots are best?
What about shirt sales. Do you think there’s much money in selling nylon strips to 50 pounds/euros a go? I reckon there might be (I can spot a fair few happy customers in your photos).
And what stops smaller brands becoming bigger brands? Big brands doing stuff like this.
Ouch, Dan, I was only having a quiet chuckle over the irony in the photo. Nike would of course be killing it with other merch, with athletes and with kiddies. Read this post on sports sponsorship by a friend of mine if you’re interested in another take on the matter: http://anotheradvertisingwanker.blogspot.com/2009/01/xxxx-gold-for-young-and-old.html
Obviously the Manchester United endorsement is a defensive manoeuvre of the market leader. And yep, it’s there to stop the competition gaining a foothold. Ironic again then, that they had to buy Converse to bring back some of their ‘who gives a fuck’ street cred which was lost in a haze of massive football team endorsements and gazillion dollar ads.
Sorry Ben wasn’t meant to be quite as aggressive as it reads!
Cool photo – unfortunate for Nike. Ironic that a couple of weeks ago I was going to write about Man Utd (which I prob still will) and how their success and appeal for their sponsors isn’t so much in the UK but in Asia where they are THE football team and football is THE sport. Do you think that when Nike writes that cheque they even notice the $’s missing?
If you look at the picture and the swoosh you highlighted, it’s behind the fans, out of their eyeline. Why? Because it’s intended for everyone watching on television, not the fans in the stadium, and Nike’s sponsorship gets them endless hours of the swoosh (on shirts and on bllboards) broadcast to hundreds of millions worldwide.
The real moneyspinner for Nike is the licence to make the kit – replica shirts and other apparel are incredibly lucrative, as United fans in their millions buy for what is essentially fancy polyester. Football boots worn by United’s Nike-sponsored footballers are another key market, as football fans are more likely to play football than go running. That’s where they make their money from, and thats why they don’t care one bit what trainers people going to the game wear.
Nike almost invented Sports Sponsorship and marketing. Like Red Bull, they know what works and what doesn’t. Chris is right. The official Manchester United Shirt is a Nike shirt complete with swoosh. they update it every year. Guaranteed sales with massive loyalty built in.
Your point about what people who play the game wear is a good one, but Nike do this better than anyone else too. The Olympics are a great case. Adidas are the official sponsor, but the athletes wear Nike. (swimming and Usain Bolt excepted).
Sports Sponsorship works, but the power lies in the activation. Bet you can’t tell me the brand on the front of Beckham’s shirt when he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Why? because the sponsorship alone is useless without activation through other media.
As an Australia-based Man Utd fan, I found your blog on google and read a few of your other Man Utd posts.
I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.
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