A Brand-Conscious North London Derby

To be shocked at the crass commercialism in today’s money-soaked English Premiership is to be slightly naive. To develop a toothache upon hearing about how today’s top flight clubs sell their souls to fund their businesses or discover sneakier means of getting their hands deeper into your wallets, however, is perfectly normal. As we approach another weekend when rivals Tottenham and Arsenal meet to determine North London bragging rights until they meet again, it might be a wonder the encounter itself has yet to be given sponsorship or naming rights for the clubs to exploit. After all, would it be such a surprise to see in the papers or hear from the television commentators┬áThe North London Derby┬ápresented by EA Sports or The Lucozade North London Derby? Quite honestly, it’s remarkable this has yet happened, along with The Eithad Battle of Manchester. That last bit was probably on Garry Cook’s to-do list before someone hacked his email account. Still, these are two clubs not only trying to find their way on the pitch but also still working out the kinks on how they leverage themselves as Premiership brands to contest the financial might of the burgeoning twin-headed Manchester behemoth. The process of appropriately branding Arsenal has come in fits and spurts, from the creation of a separate online presence for followers stateside that initially seemed a dumbed-down version of the...

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