London, 13/8/14 – The Premier League season gets underway this weekend with five Premier League managers believing they can win the title. Throughout the season, the tacticians are thrust in to the media spotlight with their pre and post-match interviews and their decision making scrutinised by pundits.
The league receives exposure across 10 months of the year in over 200 territories so it is no surprise that millions of pounds are spent on endorsement deals with football players in the Premier League, however, despite their high levels of media coverage and the leadership values associated with them, only a few football managers receive such deals.
Jose Mourinho is one of the few Premier League managers to have capitalised on personal endorsement deals. His current lucrative brand ambassadorial roles with BT Sport, Jaguar and luxury watch brand Hublot, on top of his £8.37million a year Chelsea contract, make him the Premier League’s highest paid manager.
Other managers such as Harry Redknapp, who has starred in commercials with 666Bet and Sky Sports, have flirted with endorsement deals however not to the same extent as “The Special One”.
Latest findings from Repucom’s Celebrity DBI indicate that the title contenders, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers, Manuel Pellegrini and Premier League new man Luis van Gaal are all highly endorsable in their own right, and are in many instances, more marketable than their multi million pound players.
The independent index that quantifies and qualifies consumer perceptions of celebrities based on eight attributes (awareness, appeal, aspiration, breakthrough, endorsement, influence, trend-setter and trust) show that in the UK, Arsene Wenger has the highest awareness (85%) of the five managers due to his 18 years in charge of Arsenal, whilst Mourinho and Rodgers rank highest amongst all seven other attributes.
Despite winning the Premier League and cup double in 2013/14 season with Manchester City, Pellegrini is still the least known manager of the title challengers. Pellegrini’s quiet and dignified nature keeps him out of the headlines yet remains trusted and aspired by those who are aware of him.
Jose Mourinho is the one football manager around the world that has created his own brand, focusing on himself alone. His vivid character traits such as drive, determination, persistence and his meticulousness are all traits that brands would like to be associated with. His polarising personality and over the top antics make Jose one of the most talked about managers and one that the press love to talk about; perfect for brands looking to push their products and services to football fans.
In the UK, Mourinho outscores his rivals in aspiration, endorsement, influence and as a trend-setter. In fact, 64% of the people aware of the Chelsea manager believe that he is the perfect product spokesperson. Despite having the lowest trust score of the 5, Mourinho is still more trusted than his club captain John Terry and his £50 million pound striker Fernando Torres.
Celebrity endorsements are an incredibly powerful way of creating an emotional connection with a brand. The star can raise awareness and create a buzz for brands and products at a time when breaking through the marketing clutter can be extremely challenging.
Football managers are often overlooked as brand ambassadors as it is the players who bask in the glory when the team is winning and brands strive to be associated with success. It is usually the manager who takes the lion share of the blame if their team is underperforming; however do pride themselves on brand values of trust, respect, leadership and power, all values that brands would like to be associated with.
Due to the lavish lifestyles and unpredictability of many footballers, it could be argued that there are even more risks associated to endorsing footballers rather than the managers. For example, Luis Suarez’s bite at the World Cup saw him lose sponsorship deals and a huge drop in his marketability.
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