Corporate Reputation Review

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 61–74 | Cite as

The Corporate Narratives of Global Football Clubs

  • Nassim DehoucheEmail author
Original Article


Association football (also known as simply football or soccer) is the most popular spectator sport in the world, and major football clubs are now commonly managed and studied as global brands, the consumers of which exhibit considerable levels of engagement and loyalty that challenge academic research in explaining why engagement in this apparently unrewarding, vicarious pursuit is maintained. We approach this question through the narrative aspect of football clubs’ corporate communication. Indeed, corporate narratives are known to substantiate the reputation building-efforts of corporations. Conversely, a good corporate reputation actively supports the messages created by these stories. Through in-depth, in-person interviews with 38 Football supporters, we identify five components of global football clubs’ storytelling (place, playstyle, performance, personalities, and political charge). We analyze the memorability of these factors as well as their importance in these supporters’ decision to support a football club and maintain that engagement over time, through a survey of 373 football supporters originating from nine countries. The goal of this analysis is to contribute towards building a generic, actionable model of consistent corporate narratives, that can be adapted by conventional corporations seeking to generate similar levels of engagement from their consumer-base as football clubs do from their supporters.


Corporate communication Corporate narratives Strategic storytelling Football 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited & Reputation Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Administration DivisionMahidol University International CollegeSalayaThailand

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