Resurgence of Liverpool’s Brand?

Over the last few years, Liverpool has been a shadow of the team it was, but that might change under the new manager
by Anil Kadiyala   |   Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#FootyBiz - column on international football business, soccer marketing and finance.

Top football clubs, in the modern era, are the ones who attain success on and off the pitch. The style of football a team adopts or the number of trophies a team wins is the first impression that it can have on its fans and other stakeholders. This would eventually impact its image off the pitch.

In short, if a club is not able to deliver results on the pitch, its brand value takes a beating.

This is what Liverpool encountered over the last 4 years when it failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. New and young football fans were more inclined towards watching the top clubs from Manchester and London. It was a tough period for Liverpool and when Brendan Rodgers took the helm as the third manager in 4 years, there wasn’t a unanimous sense of positivity among the Anfield faithful. The club had appointed Rodgers keeping long-term prospects in mind and it was evident that the new manager would take time to deliver what the club anticipated from him.

Today, after 21 months into his tenure with Liverpool, it is evident for everyone to see the progress that the Anfield club has made under Rodgers. Yes, its too early to conclude that the club is going to achieve considerable success in the near future but what this season has surely seen is a new brand of attacking football that not just the Liverpool fans but everyone seem to be adoring.

The demolition of Tottenham (away), Everton and Arsenal (home) was a reflection of the style that Liverpool threatens to adopt under this new regime.

With 73 goals in 28 EPL games, Liverpool has scored at an average of 2.6 goals per game and if they continue at this rate for the rest of the season Liverpool are likely to end up scoring the second highest number of goals in a season by any team in the EPL era.

Now this sort of performance is going to have a positive impact on the club from a business perspective.

For starters, Anfield would be buzzing with the charismatic UCL nights that the club was deprived of for a few years now. Revenue generated through these additional games at Anfield would be substantial. However, in order to compete with the best in Europe and succeed Liverpool need to invest in players. So the revenue generated through European nights for a season or 2 might negate the net spent on further strengthening the squad.

The other source of income for Liverpool could be through sponsorship. Manchester United, over the last decade has proved to the footballing fraternity that there is no limit to the number of sponsors a club can attract. Liverpool being a reputed global club could do the same, i.e., to attract even more sponsors by playing in the Champions League.

But by far the most important aspect for Liverpool lies in the number of new fans the club can attract by continuing to play the way they have been this season. Going by their performance in the last few years, the club hasn’t done itself any favors in attracting these potential followers. In economic terms, the club has seen depreciation in its market share of new fans.

Once an individual becomes a fan, they are most likely to retain their loyalties to the club forever. It is a well-known fact that fans are a crucial entity of any football club and it’s the amount of time and revenue they spend on it that signifies the off-field success of any club.

So if LFC manager Brendan Rodgers continues to adopt the brand of football he is imposing on the team right now then this is likely to play a positive role in the club attaining success on the business front too.

Anil KADIYALA

Nationality:
India
College:
Robert Gordon Univ.
Club Domestic:
Club Foreign:
Liverpool FC
A sports enthusiast and a soccer freak who previously worked in various sectors outside sports but eventually had to respond to the love of his life and at present working as a sports marketing professional.
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