There are not many countries in the World that don’t play football. Ignoring the rugby-style game played whilst wearing protective clothing and helmets the other side of the pond, Football as we know it is the biggest sport the World over.
Whether you’re in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia even in the forgotten corners of the World you’ll see people kicking a ball between two posts.
More than any other sport football boasts some of the most passionate, fanatical and obsessed fans who in some cases dedicate their whole lives to following their favourite team. Some regard it as the modern day church, in the words of Karl Marx: Players are worshipped, hymns of praise are sung on the terraces, young children are indoctrinated into the cult, grown men go about clothed in the robes of the game and yelling yobs proclaim the virtues of “their” team on public transport and in the streets”.
With such a captured audience, this money making machine attracts the big money men who are taking control of the business behind the scenes counting the proceeds from extraordinary TV rights, player sales, merchandising and the astronomical cost of being a fan.
Oil-rich sheikhs and American tycoons have brought and in some cases own outright the most lucrative premier league clubs and making boardroom decisions based on profit alone, in some cases without any concern for the fans.
They may buy and sell players based on popularity of the player, in order to sell more merchandising. They change the names of the football stadiums based on who is sponsoring them at the time. They are even prepared to demolish whole football stadiums to make way for new property developments. Such was the case for Wimbledon FC, the move took them from the heart of south London where they had been since their foundation in 1889, some 56 miles away to Milton Keynes.
These are purely financial moves, ignoring the heart and soul of a club in which a major part of its heritage is taken away in an instant.
So this got us thinking. If these board members were prepared to make radical decisions based purely on profit, what else would they be prepared to do, how far would they go?
What if a marketing agency gave them statistics which showed that figures for merchandise sales would be improved dramatically if the club was to alter its team colours from blue to red or vice versa? If a club is prepared to move its whole football ground then surely a colour change could be a possibility.
Think about it for one moment… what if the unimaginable happened and your beloved football team not only decided to change its team colours, but to that of their biggest rivals.
All it not lost…
In 2012 Cardiff city announced it would be changing its colours from Blue to Red as their Chairman Vincent Tan believed that the colour re-brand would bring him good fortune.
But due to enormous pressure from the fans it was announced in January 2015 that the team would return to playing in blue with immediate effect, I wonder if all the fans that had brought the red merchandise would be offered an exchange on the revert back to blue? Err no it was announced that Cardiff city would be wearing blue home kit and a red away kit – so the red was still relative.
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Dean Williams is a design and marketing blogger working for Print-Print Limited, promoting business and building brands through quality print marketing. If you’re interested in small business promotion then please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org