Leicester City FC: A Branding Fairy Tale
Picture this, a football team at the bottom of the English Premier League (April 10 2015), almost relegated and having 5000 - 1 odds of winning the premier league. The underdog. Most people like the underdog. They warm to it; develop an emotional connection, because it reminds them of themselves, fighting against all odds to reach their ultimate goal. The David Versus Goliath. And this is what has happened to Leicester City FC, the rank outsider that beat all the odds, took on the might of the multi-- million pound big clubs like Arsenal , Manchester United, Chelsea and won the premiership on the 2nd of May 2016.
As their path took them on the route to victory, the Leicester brand began to grow not just in the UK but across Asia. Leicester City FC has been propelled into the lime light, the brand exposed globally. This is a fairy tale come true not just for Leicester City FC but also for the club's legacy partner Walker's Crisps and for their sponsor King Power who have their branding on the team kit and interview backdrops.
Strong Brand Creation- Leicester City FC
Since winning the football premiership, Leicester City FC have had the fastest growing Instagram account according to PR weekly and 4.5 million Facebook likes (May 2016) . Leicester FC is now moving from being just a football club, to a brand that sells more than football. Hope, inspiration, the unimaginable. In parts of Thailand (where Leicester City’s owners are from), the team’s football shirts were sold out before they won the league. When team shirts ran out in Thailand, keen fans ordered Leicester FC shirts from the United Kingdom. The Leicester brand has broken international waters, crossed cultures and united people from two sides of the world. This is part of the appeal of the Leicester city brand it's ability to unite.
Benefits of The Brand - Leicester City FC
Commentators have suggested that the major star of the team Jamie Vardy, who was in the top three for the most goals scored in the premier league may be tempted by large figure contracts offered by other football clubs and leave Leicester FC. However the new found Leicester FC brand may actually encourage not only Vardy to stay with the team but also attract big stars to the club just like the Arsenal FC and Manchester United FC brand does.
What may further attract fans to the Leicester City FC brand is the movie that is being made about Jamie Vardy's life and record breaking rise to success. In 2012 Vardy was playing non league football for Fleetwood Town (who were in the 5th tier of English football division) and had a day job making medical splints. Now in 2016 Vardy has helped Leicester win the premiership and he is part of the English National Football team. to being part of the premier league champions. This will undoubtedly bring further coverage globally to the Leicester City FC brand. The other side to the fairy tale is the cost of the football team if we compare the cost of the squad Tottenham spent £161m on their team, Arsenal spent £251m, Manchester City £451million and Leicester City £54m. This adds to the magic of the Leicester brand.