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A Brand Has Moving Parts
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Whether it is an international business or a world-renowned sports franchise, all must be on the same page when money is at stake.

The Premier League football club West Bromwich Albion (WBA) team has to learn that fact the hard way.

The team, whose t-shirts were sponsored by Zoopla, recently lost the Zoopla sponsorship due to an action of one of its players. Its striker, Nicolas Anelka, after scoring a goal, did a salute that is known to be popular with today's Nazi sympathizers.

First off, that is a horrible idea.

Second off, the idea is even worse when WBA's sponsor Zoopla is partly owned by Jewish businessmen Alex Chesterman.

Anelka: all foot and no brains.

According to the report on Brand Republic, the sponsorship is worth around three million pounds, or just a little over 4.9 million dollars in our currency.

Organizations like WBA have to be careful about the type of talent it recruits for the team. Yes, not only should they look for players who are talented, but they must be able to behave in a way that will not jeopardize the financial success of the team.

Think about it: that gesture, which probably lasted less than 10 seconds, possibly cost more than an advertisment during this year's upcoming Super Bowl. 

Though the contract was going to end this summer, no doubt the incident quickened Zoopla's hand and left no room no renewal.

That's a concern.

It is very interesting that international football (soccer to us Americans) is struggling with racism. Only now are we learning of an incident that negatively affects the bottom line of a club. Sponsors have the right to support whichever brand fits its values. And because of Anelka, WBA lost Zoopla.

Marketing is a wonderful industry; there are many ways a brand can send a message.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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