Sponsoring & Branding: When Does Patronage Become Patronising?

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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10 Responses

  1. Pete says:

    Interesting stuff. The renaming of my club for a sponsor is actually the only thing I can imagine that would make me stop supporting the club and walk away (even if it just adds a company name to the existing name, rather than replacing it altogether). Anyone else feel like this, or is it just me?

  2. Storm says:

    Great article. If Saints had to be saved, that is what is would have cost and it would have been better than disappearing.

    btw you missed Red Bull Salzburg. Interestingly enough the fans were split, and the anti-RB fans eventually re-created their own football club.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Red_Bull_Salzburg

  3. Dan Cafc says:

    I 100% agree with Pete.
    The teams name is the identity, it is the area, the place your from, the only constant that you will have during your whole football supporting life. Players come and go, managers come and go, grounds change or move, the board change, even the badges change. But the only thing that should never change is the clubs name (ignoring Arsenal and briefly York to name a couple)

  4. Gervillian Swike says:

    Another team of note was the Welsh league team Llantsantfraid, who became Total Network Solutions FC, and played Liverpool in a Champions League qualifying round in 2005. Then when TNS were incorporated into BT, the sponsorship went west, but the TNS abbreviation was now more of a brand than the team’s original name – so they renamed themselves “The New Saints”. Probably to their advantage too – the area where TNS are from is tiny, but it sustains a full-time playing staff and they’ve won the Welsh league a few times in the last couple of years.

  5. Steve Thomas says:

    Re: TNS – no one likes them though. In fact they’re hated in a similar fashion as MK Dons. Plastic club, with a plastic pitch. The name “The New Saints” is meaningless. The least they could do is give Oswestry their club back by changing their name to the town they now reside. Thankfully Llansantffraid have their club back.

  6. Jertzee says:

    “Thankfully Llansantffraid have their club back.” – excuse my ignorance but is there a new Llansantffraid club, back in the home town?

  7. Mark Wilson says:

    This is such an interesting issue and your view probably depends on which club you support and what their current financial situation is. I would take a guess that if you offered the supporters of Stockport or Portsmouth (I don’t support either) the option of becoming Red Bull Stockport or McDonalds Pompey right now they would bite your hand off as it might be the only way to save their club.
    One thing not discussed in the article is whether it’s better to sell your name (and soul?) to a corporate or a faceless Middle Eastern\Asian\East European consortium. Ask a Pompey fan or a Notts County fan!
    Given the choice I would take my beloved Grimsby Town being bought by a corporate because they have a vested interest in the success of the club on the pitch as that is the vehicle for their marketing. An individual can use a football club as a plaything (if they can afford it) and drop it as easy as they picked it up, a company has to consider the longer term.

  8. Joe says:

    Totally agree with what you say.

    However, the one upside of a corporate club name is to hear Jeff Stelling’s jokes such as when TNS score a goal:

    “They’ll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight”.

  9. NottyImp says:

    How about Harry Ramsden FC for Grimsby Town? Sorry, I’m an Imp and couldn’t resist… ;)

  10. Steve Thomas says:

    ““Thankfully Llansantffraid have their club back.” – excuse my ignorance but is there a new Llansantffraid club, back in the home town?”

    Yes, Jertzee, Llansantffraid Village were formed as soon as TNS moved from Treflan (in Llansantffraid) to Oswestry. LVFC have since won a couple of promotions and are now, theoretically, two promotions away from the WPL: http://www.llansantffraidvillagefc.co.uk/

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