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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Advertisement for Hype...

Well, seems marketing is all the rage these days with even foreverCharlton, over here anyway, doing its bit to sell Madrid shirts. Occasionally I get a nice pleasant Free Powerpoint site with no irritation value whatsoever but obviously the white shirts sell better. I suppose it's just my bad luck that my ipaddress is unfortunately smack in the middle of Madrid, a good 60 miles away from my house - who can afford Madrid prices - but its the sheer size of the white shirt that in my eyes is nothing short of obscene.
And in the similar vein over here, the papers have been astounded by little Villareal coming second in La Primera Liga on a 6th of the budget of the Big Two. Madrid struggled to get through 2007 on a massive 306M Euros - at todays rate that's 243M in real money of an alarmingly diminishing Pound - while little Villareal got to spend only 56m. Well, a bit more than a 6th then but you get the idea. They finished 7 points adrift of the Big One but well clear of Barca in third. It used to be Big Three over here till Ronald Koeman arrived at Valencia but now we have the Big Two split by someone like Portsmouth. How odd would that be in the Premier!!
And the obsession with money and selling things seems to be taking over everywhere. Anybody notice something odd about last Wednesday's UEFA cup final? I mean apart from the strange behaviour of Walter Smith taking to writing busily in his notebook with just 10 minutes remaining while losing 1-0 while Ally and co looked on in stunned amazement.
No, I mean the players shirts. Was there a clue to future marketing strategies? On the back where normally the players name is write large and prominent for those poor sods in the back of the stands to see, last Wednesday this was not the case. Instead the players names were not in big upper case at all but in trendy lower case.
Perhaps its a Glasgow thing, I thought, along with waving Union Jacks while every house in England, it seems, now sports an St. George's flag. But no, there it was on the Russkies shirts as well. Forgive me for imagining sinister goings-on, must be the books I read, but what's afoot. You may believe it's because of the impossibility of getting those lengthy Russkie names in one line on a shirt but as both teams sported it for me its quite obviously a new directive from UEFA.
Why waste all that gorgeous advertising space with someones name, his numbers there isn't it. What about squeezing in a nice big advert on the back as well as the front. Get rid of all that player nonsense, we're a brand, we need to sell things for Gods sake.
And I thought back to the halcyon days of Formula 1 when you could actually see the number of the car and work out who was driving it. If you've not an enthusiast today and have carefuly studied the winters changes there's not way you can figure out who's driving without a commentator.
Is football going the same way? Well, I see there's some sort of Chumps final tonight, or is it final for chumps, whatever. Its also run by those nice people over at UEFA so a chance to confirm the theory.
Ah, but there's a problem. I'm afraid tonights already booked up. I have to watch my tomatoes growing and then there's the dog to walk and after that I have an idea that Mrs Nelson will want to discuss the thoughts and philosophies of Michel de Montaigne or maybe moll over the exact boiling point of homemade marmalude. So, oh dear, no time at all for suffering the pathetic, hysterical antics of Sir A, or F or whatever it is, or the anguish at having to watch the doleful gaze of Avram for an hour and a half. Because, and please forgive me my warped idea of life, but it's clearly not a football match at all but a marketing exercise between two opposing brands, as experienced recently by Marco, better suited to the Boardroom than a football pitch.
So, if by any chance, anyway has the stomach for this sort of thing perhaps they would let me know whether or not my theory holds water. Are they upper or lower?
And in case you need a few more details to enjoy the match (sic), deloittes can explain it all in simple numbers, in lower case of course.


johnny73 said...

Didn't see any change to the shirts last night. Good old predictable Man U and Chelsea. I watched the first half, Man U were very good, and it's easy to understand now why lessor teams rest players against them. Then switched channels and came back for the obvious penalties.

My concern is not the marketing or branding, as Charlton do the same thing to a lessor extent. It's the financial imbalance in football.

Chelsea in particular have a recent history of stealing the best players from clubs like Charlton and Reading, and then giving them a reserve game or two before selling them on. Destroying any progress those smaller(!) clubs may have made.

Unless somebody does something about it, english football will destroy itself, bring back the old days when a natural cycle existed, well run clubs moved to the top of leagues on merit, and then declined once their best players aged, other teams then had a go. These days we can expect Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to occupy the top spots for years to come. All the other clubs fight amongst themselves for a small piece of the tv money pie. Rant over. Thanks.

nelson said...

Well said Johnny and at your age an occasional rant is expected. Can't be too long now before the 4 monsters get feed up with the likes of us and bugger off into Europe full-time to start their Super League...
And I'm afraid that your days of 'nature cycles' are just a piece of history now, there's no room for nature in todays 'sport'.
We now live in a different world but we can still enjoy its emotions, if you can get rid of the sour grapes, of the sight of Dean Windass crying on the Wembley turf yesterday. Magic..