Showing posts with label English Premier League. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English Premier League. Show all posts

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sergeant Warburton's Loan-ly Rangers Club - where are they now?

If one thing punctuated Mark Warburton’s ultimately disastrous regime at Ibrox, it was his unforgiveable use of Ibrox and Murray Park as a pseudo-lab for other teams’ youth players while borderline auditioning himself for another gig by showing how ‘well’ he could develop these young players.

As a homage to our fine ex-manager, Ibrox Noise decided to take an irreverent look down Memory Lane and have a look at all the departed loanees Bread Man brought in and ask the pertinent question: ‘where are they now?’

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Global Rangers Brand - Just How Big Are Rangers?

When anyone says the word 'marketing' the predictable response from others is 'boring'. It does not elicit excitement, given its paperwork, targets, design, modelling and consumer patterns analysis.

However, marketing is a critical part of any ambitious business, and those who do it efficiently end up growing hugely, while those who fail to take it seriously or engage it successfully struggle.

Merriam Webster would define marketing as:

            "The act or process of selling or purchasing in a market; the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service."

The part in bold is the most vital part, and sums up the point. In layman's terms, marketing is every act a business can carry out to broaden the spread of, and interest in, their goods, and ultimately increase their revenue.

Ok, all quite stuffy up till now, and I am quite sure a few of you have yawned already wondering why you are on an economics article masquerading as a Rangers FC blog.

The reason is this; the Rangers brand is currently a totally missed opportunity, and the marketing endeavours are non-existent.

The global attractiveness and popularity of any business or company (or organisation) is in the clout of its brand. The more familiar and popular its brand is, the more people will be attracted to purchasing its goods and services.

Brand Finance Football Brands (BFFB) is a good place to start for analysis as to the current standing of clubs' global brand value. Originating in 2010, this company use a wide variety of data collated together with establishing revenue, turnover, profit and value to ultimately reveal clubs' positions globally as a brand. I should critically point out this is not strictly a measure of clubs' wealth or turnover, nor exactly how much merchandise has been shifted, but instead it is the amalgamation of both the results of these factors plus how much the brand's consequent popularity promotes and improves these factors further;

How many shirts is your club's brand big enough to sell, and how much does selling your shirt then further boost your brand?

Looking at aforementioned BFFB's list, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 make grim reading for those at Ibrox. While 2010 started as the top 25, then expanded to 30 in 2011, then 50 and so on, Celtic have featured in every list thus far bar one while there is an excruciating absence of Rangers.

Top 5 May 2012 © Brand Finance Football Brands:

1 1 Manchester United FC EPL               853 661 29% AAA+ 2,903 29%
2 4 FC Bayern               Bundesliga          786 493 59% AAA 2,042 38%
3 2 Real Madrid CF      BBVA Liga          600 643 -7% AAA+ 3,013 20%
4 3 FC Barcelona          BBVA Liga           580 629 -8% AAA+ 2,995 19%
5 5 Chelsea FC             EPL                        398 314 27% AA- 1,836 22%
37 NEW Celtic FC     SPL                          64 49 30% BBB+ 857 7%

I am not going to lie and say I fully understand these figures but the first 3-digit number is the crucial one. It is the one which dictates the position each club holds in this list, and is the collated 'brand value' list. As you can see the top 5 are relatively predictable with the likes of Bayern, Man Utd and Real Madrid dominating. Rangers fans will not appreciate my saying this but Celtic's excellent 37th place is down to the effectiveness with which the Parkhead side have exploited the North American markets, the Irish market and in more recent years, the Far Eastern Market. Rangers' complete absence from this and all 4 lists going back to 2010 is an appallingly incriminating indictment of the club's failure to exploit various markets.

Attempts have been made - at the beginning of this decade then CEO Martin Bain spearheaded an ill-fated endeavour to spread Rangers' brand into the North American market, but it came to very little. Indeed, the lack of Rangers' American spread was highlighted in 2010 when instead of touring North America pre-season Rangers opted to go to that fertile land of football known as Australia.

            "We had explored the possibility of a tour of America, however, after considering many factors it was decided not to pursue this further. I am sure this will be a disappointment to our fans across the Atlantic and while we are sorry the team is no longer travelling in July, Alastair Johnston, Walter Smith and I look forward to attending the NARSA (North American Rangers Supporters Association) convention in Las Vegas this weekend."

There is no way the club would have missed out on the riches of the USA if a policy had been in place to tap into that market - instead Down Under was used as that year's pre-season.

Briefly in 2011 there was a small flirtation with the Indias, when two trialists from that region were put through their paces at Murray Park. Again, it did not materialise into anything. The following might be from that dubious publication the Daily Record but the piece in bold highlights the big issue with Rangers and marketing fertile grounds:

            "JAZZ JUTTLA still wonders what it would have been like to become the first Indian to play for Rangers. To break down an age-old barrier and spark interest in Asia and beyond. Despite being a regular in the Ibrox reserves, alongside the likes of Barry Ferguson, he was never given his chance in the big time."

The Asias are the ripest and richest market and they are one of the main reasons why the English Premier League is so wealthy. The Asias, including the two most populated countries on Earth, India and China, are the most fertile ground on earth to increase one's brand to. The recent episode with the Vietnamese Arsenal fan running alongside the players' coach was manna from heaven for the Gunners' marketing department. Positive PR in a massively dense area of the world.

Is it any wonder the top English clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd almost always tour these places pre-season? While Arsenal's on-pitch fortunes are not currently outstanding, their global brand is absolutely gigantic. Mainly thanks to that Asian market. They are sixth in that BFFB list - the sixth most recognised team on planet earth. Utd, Arsenal and other giants of football learned years ago that the Far East was a burgeoning locale for increasing their brand, and oh how they have exploited it.

Celtic are currently, on the 2013 list, 44th having slipped 7 places since 2012. Rangers, disgracefully, are nowhere to be seen on any of the 4 lists since the inception of it.

My point here is that while Rangers were apparently 'excluded' in 2012 on the basis of their financial turmoil, that Celtic were 25th in the first list in 2010 with no sign of Rangers shows that even prior to administration Rangers still were not tapping into lucrative markets as much as 3+ years ago.

A recent report from January last year by Joseph Sebastian contains evidence that Misha Sher was appointed on the Rangers board to expand Rangers' brand:

            "Rangers Football Club (FC) has appointed a global partnership director, Misha Sher, to grow its revenue streams from strategic partnerships in markets, including Australia and North America. It states that the football club is following the footsteps of Manchester United, whose sponsors include Globacom Ltd. and Singha Corp. According to Sher, they are an international brand, and they are focusing on building their brand in overseas markets."

Unfortunately Sher's tenure on the board lasted a quite abysmal 3 months:

            "January 2012 – March 2012 (3 months) London

Responsible for formulating and executing global strategy aimed at building the club’s international profile and driving revenue through new partnerships. Held responsibility for the club’s off-season activities including first team tours and all associated activities such as commercial partnerships, marketing, and PR. Managed a strategy aimed at repackaging existing rights to exploit international opportunities in North America, Asia, and Oceania."

I could go on and on but will not - Rangers absolutely 100%, to increase revenue and their global brand have to take marketing a lot more seriously than they currently are. The appointment of Sher was a nod in the right direction but clearly ended up another busted flush in the club's futile efforts to break these lucrative foreign markets.

I really do not thrive on saying this but Celtic's model, whatever it is, works infinitely better than Rangers'. The east-enders have clearly taken foreign branding and marketing seriously and it has resulted in a much healthier financial position. To be in the top 44 clubs in the world in terms of brand power is a testament to them and Rangers have to emulate it.

With current finances at Ibrox not being as lavish and healthy as they could, it is high time the club once and for all cracked the marketing bandwagon and started to 'sell themselves' in rich and lush lands where billions of people are just waiting to latch onto a new team.

Football is hugely global - it is about time Rangers exploited that.