Advertising and sponsorship in football
This event surprisingly didn’t have an official sponsor, which is very unusual however I expect Sky Sports was paying a sum of money to have the rights to broadcast the event. Surrounding the indoor pitch were many billboards displaying various adverts and sponsors. None of the boards displayed any big names involved with the sport and many were obviously small and low key companies making the most of a sporting event that would be viewed by people up and down the country. Many of the adverts were for local companies stationed in Newcastle where the event was taking place such as an advert for a local radio station.
I noticed that there were few people at the event, which might be why the advertisements were so low key, and for small companies. Above the stadium exits there are some adverts for larger drinks companies such as Coca-Cola and Smirnoff, the former has always been a key sponsor or football events and over the years has put huge sums of money into the sport. I later discovered the website for this event and discovered the companies sponsoring the event and they were as follows. Spalding, Plum Centre and Builder Centre. Manchester City Vs Blackburn Rovers – Premiership Plus PPV
This event as I expected was an excellent example of advertising and sponsorship within football. This short clip I have analysed shows the extent to which advertisers have control over the game and shows how they access their target audience through various media. Surrounding the pitch at Maine Road are the classic advertising hoardings displaying various advertisements. Unlike many football grounds. Maine Road has two lines of advertising hoardings with one facing the crowd, which I should imagine is an excellent way of attracting the crowd’s attention throughout the game.
Throughout this clip the camera frequently focuses on the players shirts displaying team sponsors to the viewers at home. This is especially the case when the teams are leaving the dressing rooms before kick off. When the players enter the pitch from the tunnel a line of advertisements is displayed on the tunnel entrance, which is also clearly picked up by the camera. Even though this match is a BSKYB production the Sky Sports channels don’t actually show the programmes. It’s a Pay Per View game meaning there are different sponsors.
Scottish Power and Barclay Card sponsor this event and this is empathically shown at the beginning and end of the ad breaks with the use of a separate advert showing young boys playing football. Man Utd Official Web Site – Home page The home page of this web site was pretty much as I expected with quite a few advertisements and sponsors displayed on the page including the Manchester United team sponsors Vodafone and Nike, however the advertisements are fairly discreet and not in your face.
The Vodafone logo is used several times more than the Nike logo that is only displayed a couple of times on the home page. This is fairly surprising considering Nike paid well in excess of 300 million pounds to sponsor Man Utd. It was also interesting to note that Man Utd have struck up some form of deal with the betting company Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes now claim to be the official betting partner of Manchester Utd and use the slogan; ” we couldn’t beat ’em so we joined ’em”.
It is clear to see from all of these items of research that advertising and sponsorship play a huge role in the world of football and have slowly had more and more of an influence over it. Football is now no longer just about kicking a piece of leather around; it’s a business that if you’re not successful in can spell the end of clubs and players alike. An excellent example of this would be the nationwide leagues in England, had it not been for Sky Sports, many of the smaller teams would be in extreme financial difficulty for years to come after the collapse of ITV digital.
I would therefore conclude from my research so far that sport relies heavily upon the media for both finance and coverage, however the relationship goes both ways. Sport provides interest for the media to cover and helps different media companies to sell newspapers, broadcast television programmes etc. Each one relies upon the other but there is a gradual trend for the media to start taking over and controlling what happens on and off the field of play.