Co branding in sport, the importance of consistency

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It took time, but finally it happened. The football world was turned upside down by Paul Pogba’s record transfer from the Juventus to Manchester U.

Though we are sport lovers, we do not pretend to be football experts and won’t be judging if the price was fair or not but we would like to spot on another aspect of this transfer: the influence it has in terms of co branding.

As Adidas, Manchester United and Paul Pogba are also worldwide brands, all sharing common interests going beyond trophy quest.
Unify them and you’ll get a very powerful and solid communication weapon, triggering the value of the transfer.

The quantity of videos, articles, tweets related to this summer saga, assess it: the operation is a success from a marketing point of view.

Pitch reality will confirm (or not) if from a sport perspective it is as successful.

During the last decades, the influence of marketing in sport has grown exponentially. Brands want to surf on the positive image of athletes to improve their market penetration and reputation. Therefore it is key for sponsor brands and football clubs and players as well, to make the right decision and be consistent with their images.
Sometimes it happens that people consider that a player is not good for a club because his football skills are not adapted to a club philosophy… the same should happen in terms of marketing.

Global brands loved to have everything under control with very coherent strategies and it is really strange to obverse that the 2 world biggest football club, the 2 world biggest sport brands and the 2 greatest football players did not manage to successfully cohabit, as Adidas-Manchester United and Paul Pogba did.

The recent promotion of the new season jersey proved it. Neither Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona nor Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid were part of the campaign!!!

It is difficult to measure the losses of this, but promoting the new outfit of FC Barcelona with or without Lionel Messi makes a huge difference and of course the impact is bigger when you count with one of the world best football players on your campaign.

What would happen if modified this incomprehensive anomaly in such a communication/marketing controlled environment?
Switching Ronaldo and Messi would probably be a terrible decision from which the only beneficiary would be a defibrillator manufacturer. What about Nike and Adidas, could they swap their jersey? Do supporters care that much about who provide the jersey?
It would be probably the easiest decision to take in order to avoid a in the name of brand consistency.

To win the battle of marketing we can say coherence is a key success driver. It is a reality in football as it is in branding in general.

Marketing consistency influence on sport and football is big. However as unconditional sport lovers it is good for us to obverse marketing does not win trophies and to see both worldwide trios Messi/Barça/Nike and Ronaldo/Real/Adidas will stick together for their best.


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