As a long suffering NUFC fan and a “seasoned” (i.e. over 35!) marketing and ad man, I despaired when I first heard of the Owen Brand pitch via glossy brochure. Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate of the “Brand” in its many and varied forms. I’ve even managed sports talent that are indeed “Brands” in their own right with a revenue stream and ego to match. Owen was as great a brand as is Ronaldo (expensive evil personified), Rooney (”once a blue always a blue”) and Shearer (the latest messiah).
But having seen NUFC dismantle itself financially, professionally, publicly in the press and on the pitch and having seen Mr. Owen’s central attacking role in this, I can’t help but see this desperate sales brochure as a final nail in his professional career. Who on earth advises footballers these days?
I heard the Stoke (yes Stoke) manager express interest despite “not receiving the brochure yet…” The very fact that Owen’s management has produced this speaks volumes. Reputations are and always will be created and ended on the pitch. The professional footballing success can then be leveraged off the pitch and has been in the case of Owen’s career at Liverpool and with England. It was well deserved at the time. He was a great player, but a poor purchase by Newcastle.
It adds insult to injury to suggest that a faded star who played a role in the demise of one of Europe’s great teams, is presented as a Brand with such current and valuable equity. Are we to expect a “cut price offer / this week only” addendum to this sales pitch? As to which business and brand is looking for this association baffles me? Air-freshners may be in with a chance…………..
Or perhaps I’m just another exhausted Toon Army faithful who is witnessing yet another bizarre chapter unfold in the very public story of the demise of a truly great Brand – Newcastle United (R.I.P.)
See you all next season at Blackpool, Scunthorpe etc.