Live it, love it, die for it.
A brand is something that is incredibly important in this day and age, you can see brands all over the place. In shops, on billboards, on your TV; they’re everywhere, gaining the attention of all of its viewers. A brand, allows companies to sell their products in a way that makes it exclusive to that particular product or experience. For example, when a brand is being built and designed, it is important that as a designer we think about how this identity will be presented; what makes this company or idea different? We have to understand the values and messages that this brand is being created around for it to be successful.
When we think of the word ‘brand’ and what it stands for, most people will start to list off names such as ‘Coca-Cola’, ‘Nike’, and ‘Apple’. But what does a brand do for the sporting industry, how do these elements of branding become incorporated into a football team. What makes you want to live and die for a club; that you willingly spend a lot of money on, through travel, memorabilia and tickets to see them play? Is it the colour of their shirt? Or the location of the club? Maybe its just that your family have raised you to be a ‘Chelsea’ fan and that’s something you have have just accepted.
When I think about how a football club is branded, I realise that the same way ‘Coca-Cola’ will sell a product; ‘Chelsea’ will reinforce this idea that you as a fan will feel some sort of pride to wear the same shirt as your favourite players. An investment is made, when someone buys into this experience of being a part of something, a club, a family, it could even be possibly considered a cult? Fans are very passionate about the team they support and take the game incredibly seriously. Bill Shankly a former Liverpool player states that “some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” Making a statement as strong as this shows how much this sport means, not only to the players but to the fans as well.
Similarly to ‘Coca-Cola’, football teams have rivalries and competitors; within football this just happens to be different clubs. So, how do you beat your competitors? You beat them with quality and price so that you can be the best. ‘Coca-Cola’ may introduce more flavours to outdo the sales of say ‘Sprite’; whereas a football club will show a player they’re interested in, the perks of playing for said club. They would have competitive wages to interest the player, but will also show that their club is of a high standard by winning cups and the league. On the other hand a player that has started at a young age and has grown with a club, they will feel a similar feeling to the fans about said club and may not ever leave because of how they have become attached to the team; no matter what offer come in for them.
Overall, whether you like ‘Coca-Cola’ or ‘Pepsi Max’, you buy into these products because of their brand statements. The messages they provide in their marketing campaigns; how they set up the product for success and how the consumer is rewarded for using these products. With a football club, it is very similar. A fan will buy into the experience that they receive when watching their team play, wearing the badge on their chest and the highs and lows that every football fan experiences.
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