8 December 2011

Brand Manchester takes a beating

I am based in Manchester in the North West of England. Manchester's modern day reputation and image is largely based on two things: music and football (soccer). It's the home of iconic bands such as the Stone Roses and Oasis and the high profile football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City.

However, last night both football teams exited the lucrative Champions League and the impact on "brand Manchester" or "MCR" and the local economy is not being underestimated.

I'm not so sure it's all doom and gloom. Previously United have been the dominant side in the city, but this season sees both clubs go head-to-head for the league title. This domestic battle will likely continue for the rest of the season as they currently sit in first and second places in the league table. Personally, I'd prefer the current third placed team to overtake them by the season's end, but then I am a typical selfish football fan!

It's this selfishness that left me elated at Manchester United's departure from the Champions League. I am a former season ticket holder at Basel's St Jakob Park, known to locals as Joggeli, and FC Basel's progression in the Champions League is a real triumph for this small Swiss city. A brand I am highly familiar with, Novartis, will also be delighted with their added exposure. Novartis are the shirt sponsor of FC Basel.