kickin' by Ian Cocoran September 24, 2001
Soccer is without question the most popular sport on the planet. In fact, such are the financial interests at stake that the revenue generated from next year’s world cup will probably be enough to clear most of the third world’s debt. To capitalize on the current financial explosion and maximize their gains, the world’s most successful clubs are now using the concept of branding.
The most valuable brand of all is that of Manchester United, officially the “richest” club in the world and the champions of the English Premiership for the past three successive seasons.
The homepage of Manchester United is a startling red and white contrast of the latest in club information backed up by an insatiable, revenue-generating machine. Amongst the cash drivers are the online Megastore, a betting facility, the opportunity to get a club mobile phone, a digital TV channel to which fans can subscribe, and of course, a club membership scheme. For those who may be in a position to get to Old Trafford, there’s also a section to apply for tickets online, seek information on stadium tours and check out the menus within the club’s extensive Conference and Catering section – but watch out for those prawn sandwiches, they’ve a distinctly Irish twist!
On the sporting side, there’s plenty of information about the players and the team, an archive of seasonal reviews, video clips to watch, wallpaper and screensavers to download and an option to listen to games over the web. The dedicated supporters section is also very strong and contains almost every conceivable detail from traveling to games to you’ve guessed it – the club’s financial services.
Two other points worthy of note within the “Man United” site are the accessibility of the search engine, which features prominently on the homepage and really helps with navigation, and the United for Unicef scheme, which underpins the club’s industrious work for charity and adds a cause-related feel to those associated with the brand.
Ian Cocoran is an Operations Director with one of the world's largest chemical distributors. He has an MBA in Marketing from the Buckinghamshire Business School and lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife Kate and daughter Lucy.
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.