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Palgrave Macmillan

Football Brands

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  • © 2010


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About this book

The media increasingly refer to football clubs as brands. Certainly concepts such as loyalty, affiliation, emotional ties with football clubs seem to parallel the relationship between consumer and brand in the broader marketing sphere. This book delves deep into the world of the lucrative business of sports branding.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)


'Football is a results driven business both on and off the field. The development of a strong brand is a key element to the continued success and delivery of results. From points on a Saturday afternoon, to dividends to shareholders all organisations in football must continue to focus on the development of their brand, what they stand for and how they relate to their fans, their employees and their peers. This book breaks down the complex process of brand building in football, it is a must read for anyone working in the game.' - Richard Bevan, CEO, League Managers Association

'This book is a very welcome addition to the literature on contemporary professional football clubs. Recognising that branding and marketing are terms which often engender hostility in football supporters; it adopts the approach of demonstrating their relevance to clubs not solely as commercial organisations, but also as social and community institutions. Its focus is thus on the features that make football clubs distinct organisations, in particular the relationship between clubs and their supporters, and on how those features facilitate our understanding of the role of brands and branding in football. The book covers a wide range of brand issues from the local to the global and its use of case study examples helps make the marketing and branding concepts more accessible to non-specialist audiences.' Stephen Morrow, Head of Department, Department of Sports Studies, University of Stirling

"For those who's passion involves brands and football, Sue Bridgewater's will allow you to indluge both interests at once. Football Brands is a superb examination of how local sporting brands have grown into global powerhouses." Michael Beverland, Professor in Marketing, School of Management, University of Bath, UK

'What a super read! The first book I've read about brands that I've actually enjoyed (and this includes my own). Sue Bridgewater has written an intelligent, informed account of this most tribal of games. Football clubs are brands, they share all the characteristics of the flakier specimens on offer: product performance that is at worst wildly erratic and at best sublime; constantly changing iconography (as the money men cash in on this season's strip); and an emotional appeal that transcends all reason. Was Dr Johnson thinking of football fans when he mused on "a triumph of hope over experience"?

Because it is hope that drives the game. Hope wrapped up in hero worship, fierce regional and national loyalties, endless tolerance of the antics of the sport's more pampered performers; '30 years of hurt' and a thousand other indignities. Greed too - and egos the size of a house. But we love it - and we invented it. We may no longer be very good at it, but for ninety minutes a week, around the country, football remains the ultimate fantasy brand.' - Tom Blackett, non-Executive Chairman, Siegel+Gale and author of Brand Medicine

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK

    Sue Bridgewater

About the author

DR SUE BRIDGEWATER is Associate Professor in Marketing and Strategy and Director of the Centre for Management in Sport at Warwick Business School. Sue graduated from Trevelyan College, Durham University with a BA in German and, after working in marketing with Nairn and Unilever, joined the faculty at Warwick University in 1991. She has an MBA and a PhD from Warwick University where she teaches marketing, international marketing and more recently has become a specialist in sports marketing. Since 2001, Sue has directed the Professional Footballers Association and League Managers Association Certificate in Applied Management for Football Managers. Her past students include Mark Hughes, Stuart Pearce, Brian Laws, Aidy Boothroyd and Alan Irvine. She also teaches and researches in cricket and rugby.

Sue has authored books and articles in a range of leading international journals. She co-authored Innovation in Marketing with Professor Peter Doyle and International Marketing Relationships with Professor Colin Egan and, in recent year, has published a number of articles in the areas of international marketing, sports marketing and leadership. A frequent media contributor, Sue also maintains and analyses football manager statistics for the League Managers Association.

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