The Premier League – Biggest Sports Brand in the World?

From the inception of the Premier League in the 1992/93 season, it has grown exponentially year on year in all areas from viewership to sponsorship and TV deals.

Etihad Stadium, Man City, Premier league

 

Before you can consider if the Premier League is the biggest sport brand in the world, what do we mean by a brand?

What do we mean by a brand?

 

The term ‘brand’ has been in existence for over a century, initially by farmers to identify their cattle. Then towards the end of the 19th century we started to see packaged goods emerge and take off, branding then took on a whole new meaning, a way of differentiating products from their competition.

According to Marty Neumeier, author and speaker on all things brand, a brand is:

“A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product.” Neumeier goes on to say that “a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”

 

Nike

 

In essence a brand is defined by the feeling towards it and when it comes to sport it is almost impossible to find a stronger connection between an individual and their favourite sport.

The Power of Sport

 

Sport is played all over the world by men and women alike, whether as a hobby, professional endeavour or just a means to stay in shape. Everywhere and anywhere you go in the world you will notice that there is a competitive game of sport to be had. Whether it is baseball in America, football in Europe or table tennis in China, sport has an impact on individuals.

To truly understand the power and influence that sport can have over people, we can look at the run up to the World Cup in 2006 as a prime example. Cote D’Ivoire had been ruined by a civil war which had been going on for 5 years previous, that was until Didier Drogba and his Ivory Coast teammates had their say. Fresh from sealing their qualification to the prestigious World Cup Finals, it was the perfect emotional wave for them to ride and plead on national television for both sides to lay down their arms. A week later both leaders obliged.

Other ways sport influences areas and brings hope. According to EMSI, as of 2013 American Sports has created 456,000 jobs with an average salary of $39,000 per annum. This shows just how big an influence sport has on a countries outlook, their GDP and the people, these jobs have provided roofs over family’s heads, food on their table and clothes on their backs. This shows the emotive connection that sport generates with their customers, this is why we can consider sports to be brands. As we said above a brand is defined by a person’s perception of them. Outside of direct contact with the sport, we can look at the charities and foundations that have been created by people involved in sports and ex-athletes, Ex-Liverpool footballer, Jamie Carragher, in 2009 set up the 23 Foundation. Their aim was to help support the youth in the Merseyside area and give them the chance to achieve their dreams through local charities, clubs and community programmes. Although he has retired from playing in the Premier League, he has been given the opportunity to help kids in his local area because of the opportunities the Premier league gave him, which will resonate with not only the kids but their families. When you have the chance to change the perception of your brand with such emotive and involved channels, then you have the power to create and grow a brand.

When you have global recognition, die hard loyalty and such a strong emotional connection to customers can sport be considered a brand, or just that, a sport?
 

The Power of Sport

 

How does football compare to other sports?

 

According to World Atlas, the most popular sports globally are:

Rank Sport Estimated Audience Area Reach
1 Football 4 Billion Globally
2 Cricket 2.5 Billion UK and Commonwealth
3 Field Hockey 2 Billion Europe, Africa, Asia & Australia
4 Tennis 1 Billion Globally
5 Volleyball 900 Million West Europe & North America
6 Table Tennis 875 Million Globally
7 Basketball 825 Million Globally
8 Baseball 500 Million USA, Caribbean & Japan
9 Rugby 475 Million UK and Commonwealth
10 Golf 450 Million West Europe, East Asia & USA

 

Why the Premier League is the most powerful league in the World

 

The Premier League is often referred to a league that lacks in style compare to La Liga in Spain, lacks in atmosphere compared to the Bundesliga in Germany and lacks tactical nous like Serie A in Italy. 

Despite the two best players of this generation playing in La Liga and not having a team win the highest prize in club football, the Champions League, since Chelsea in the 2011/2012 season, the Premier League is still unequivocally the most powerful league in the World.

According to Opta Stats, the latest TV rights deal for the Premier League sits at £5.136 billion, trumping all other major leagues. The stats unanimously show that Premier League is the dominant league and shows no sign of slowing down. As we see more streaming companies enter the TV market such as Eleven Sports and Amazon who will now be streaming all 10 Boxing Day games live.

Can we call it a brand?

 

As I have said a brand is defined by the customers feeling and emotions towards it. The bond between a supporter, their club and football as a whole is almost unbreakable. So yes, absolutely, the Premier League is a brand, just as all the clubs in it are. Eric Cantona sums it up perfectly:

“You can change your wife, change your politics, change your religion. But never, never can you change your favourite football team.”

What can we do for your Brand?

 

Dupree are experts in understanding your business and your customers, we follow a unique process to create a brand strategy to put you in front of the right target audience, on the right media channel, at the right time, with the correct message.

So, if you’re ready to start changing the perception and feeling towards your brand, then get in touch at karl.montgomery@dupreecreative.com or on 01780 757666.