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The formula for popularity. How Arsenal became the biggest brand in English club football

By Richard Bedwell and Tony Attwood

The formula for popularity?

Given that football clubs are brands, the start of each season is a chance to re-measure each brand and see how well it is doing.

Brands, we should explain, are what all businesses aspire to be.  Being a brand means that your name is recognised instantly.  You don’t have to say, “We’re Torquay United, a fourth division club, currently having a good run,” you say, “We’re Arsenal” and everyone immediately thinks Wenger, Emirates, quality, style, sold out, Walcott, Henry, Bergkamp…

The name, in a brand, says it all.  Think, “Coca Cola,” and “Ben and Jerry’s” and you get the idea.

So given this it may be interesting to construct a formula by which you can measure the popularity of your ‘brand’ in its marketplace.

For a football club this could be considered to be season ticket sales and the four key numbers that are associated with those sales. These might be considered to be as follows:-

  1. How many have they sold?
  2. What proportion is that of the total available?
  3. At what average price were they sold?
  4. What is the level of unsatisfied demand?

In England only Man IOU  can claim a higher number sold than Arsenal but, according to Matt Slater of the BBC, their sales are ‘less than 100% of availability’ at a much lower average price and with zero unsatisfied demand i.e. they have no waiting list.

Arsenal would therefore claim significantly higher scores on factors 2,3 and 4 and could, depending on the importance given to each of those factors in calculating the overall ‘popularity formula’, claim to be a stronger brand (in its consumers eyes) than are our friends in the North.

That, we could contend, would make Arsenal, by far and away, the strongest brand in the English market and with the highest demand to watch live. And that has been achieved without winning a trophy for five years and without going into hock to gamble on changing that.

Truly remarkable and a testament to the astonishing vision of Arsène Wenger.

But we must almost acknowledge that other clubs have seemingly sold their season tickets for the season.  Aside from us there is Blackpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and the Tiny Totts (now celebrating 50 years without a league championship).

The London threesome (also in the Champs league this year, assuming the Tinies don’t give us one hell of a laugh against Young Boys) are also the most expensive clubs – although direct comparison in prices is difficult in that Arsenal’s tickets contain lots of cup matches, which the others don’t.

We should also take into account that the KGB in Fulham and the Tinies also play at really naff stadia, adapted from old grounds with terraces.  As a result they are without one tenth of the facilities at Arsenal and without a fraction of the earning power of the Club Level and boxes at what (according to the chants last weekend) has now been renamed Highbury.

All three clubs also claim to have long waiting lists for season tickets, so it seems there are more than enough supporters in the capital to go around.

But elsewhere waiting lists are not what they used to be, as Manchester United can confirm, and this is what takes them down the brand ranking.

Blackpool’s sales are to be expected – a chance to have a day out across the country in the top flight for the first time since our first double.  12,000 tickets sold, but it is not quite the 40,000 seasons in the Ems, sorry Highbury.

Manchester City don’t yet come into the reckoning since last season they failed to sell out at each league game.

At Man IOU seasons are still on sale even though we have started the season.  It is just as it was at Arsenal during the early days of George Graham, when I (Tony) bought my season ticket two games into the season.  They gave me a selection of places where I could sit if I wanted – and if none of those were any good, I was told to come back and have another bunch to try.

The issue at Old Trafford is what happened to their waiting list which we were told was 24,000 last year? It has gone.  Although we must admit they still sell about the same number of season tickets as Arsenal – although in a ground that is 17,000 larger.  But even so it is one hell of a collapse in demand.

Liverpool did not sell all their season tickets by the time of the game against us, although they claim very few were left.  On the other hand they just put their prices up by 17% which is not too helpful.

Everton, according to a survey by the BBC, started the season 1000 down on last year, and many other clubs have said they were about where they were last year – that is still selling season tickets as the season gets going.

So if we come back to our initial branding question and ask which is the biggest brand in English football, here’s the answers that we have got for the winners in each group

How many have they sold?

Arsenal and Man U at the top of the list with around 40,000

What percentage have they sold?

Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Blackpool sold out

What price were they sold at?

Taking into account differences in number of games given with a season, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea are close together in terms of regular seats.  But Arsenal have massively more income from the executive areas, and have the biggest match day income in the world.

What is the level of unsatisfied demand?

Arsenal is 10 years waiting, Chelsea – we can’t really work out, but if you know, please do tell us, and as for Tottenham – very fishy.

To explain the Tinies – if you apply for a membership of the “silver membership” type Arsenal have, you are automatically put on the season ticket waiting list even if you don’t want one.   So the season ticket waiting list is those genuinely waiting, plus those who have silver, many of whom are quite happy to trot along to just a few games.  We have covered this issue before in depth, and the conclusion here (biased of course, but we did argue it through) is that Tottenham’s waiting list is much smaller than you might think.

So conclusion?  Arsenal is the biggest brand in English club football.

Untold index

36 comments to The formula for popularity. How Arsenal became the biggest brand in English club football

  • Gooneraside

    Nicely put, Richard and Tony.

    Although I have seen somewhere that 80% of readers to LeGroan have refused to renew their Wengermustgo memberships this year.
    Or was it a dream? 😉

  • Greg.B

    It reminds me last I called to get my hands on a season ticket at Arsenal, the girl on the other side said, how old are you? I said 36, she said, oh wait, you ll be dead by then, that prives all, unless she saw something that I don’t know.

    I have not enough money to get my hand on a season tickets and even then I will need to travel from France, book a B&B but I do get all goodies everything season, from shirt to vintage and even the mug I am drinking my coffee tight now, great post that s says it all

  • Samuel

    That,s what happens when the club builds a new stadium ,doesn,t overpay it,s overrated players,Trash.United style ,plays attractive football,and most importantly doesn,t have huge debt that cannot be paid off ,Luckypool style ,it,s common sense approach to the supporters that makes it so valuable a brand .

  • Paul C.

    I would have to disagree somewhat with the way you have tried to do this. One obvious point I would make is that London is the capital city, and people from all over the country go to London to work. It has always been known that London is full of Manchester United supporters. Many of those might otherwise buy Utd season tickets if they lived in Manchester (especially since many might be of the more affluent type – I worked with many Mancunians in the City who were devoted Utd supporters but didnt want to commute up and down to Manchester every weekend). Could one say the same thing about Arsenal supporters in Manchester? I doubt that. And then how many Utd supporters stayed away from Utd out of anger towards the ownership and the debt levels they have taken on? Probably quite a few.

    Besides, the idea of “brand” is so much more than merely ticket sales. Ticket sales are about revenue. A “brand” is so much more than just that and is difficult to measure. Measuring merchandising revenue would probably be a far better way of measuring “brand” than season ticket sales and by that measure Chelsea and Utd are both ahead of us at the moment, although the gap is closing.

    Arsenal have always had a very large core support. That core support is very much based in London and the Northern Home Counties. Among Arsenal supporters of course the Arsenal brand is strong.

    However if you travel around the world, which I have twice in the past decade, you get a really good measure of the strength of the “brands” globally. In that sense Utd are miles ahead of any English club.

    Boast that we run our club better than any other club by all means. We do. But lets not delude ourselves that we have a bigger brand than Utd.

  • Charles Dunham

    There’s only one sure way to win the popularity contest – win trophies. Rack them up from floor to roof, and the crowds will come pouring in.

  • Richard B

    @Paul C – There is no doubt that Mauure have more ‘fans’ around the world, but those people do not contribute to the strength of the core brand if it is not reflected in cash going into that brand. In fact even the money that they may or may not spend on replica shirts doesn’t go to support that brand – it goes to paying off the owner’s debt. – That situation seriously undermines the strength of the Manure brand which now appears to be split between how we previously understood it and a new ‘Glazer-orientated’ version. Never a sign of strength!

  • A Casual Observer

    I agree with the basis af what Paul C says, it may be arguable that we are a big brand in England this does not translate to a global brand.

    Although as Tony has pointed out in the past – we are working on this as a new revenue stream for the club – but we ain’t there yet.

    So – bragging about this is like the Spuds banging on about winning the Carling Cup i.e. who cares!?

    The season ticket figures are nice though… and I wasn’t aware about the spud silver ticket scam (we’ll find out if/when they get a new 55,000 seater stadium) – it’s a shame we haven’t got a bigger stadium to expliot our excess to down pay our debt quicker and move on to the inevitable domination of English and European football.

    Any chance we could bolt on another tier?

    🙂

  • Paul C.

    Richard B. – Let’s take the Glazer’s ridiculous ownership of Utd out of this discussion. They are idiots who might be bankrupting Utd, we all agree on that. But their ownership has very little to do with the “brand”. Real Madrid has been run by a selection of idiots and crooks, and has been in serious debt at various times in the past 30 years, but the only times their “brand” has been affected have been when their on-field performances have gone down.

    In fact one could argue that during the Glazer ownership of Utd their “brand” has actually increased in strength globally due to 3 PL titles and most importantly, a Champions League trophy. They have had the biggest brand in English Football since the 1960’s, and their unparralleled success over the past twenty years has simply solidified their position as the premiere brand in English Football.

    The thing is, as Arsenal fans we shouldnt care about that. Our club is fantastically run and has always been about different things than Utd. We have been about class, solidity, and permanence. Over the past twenty years we have probably passed Liverpool as the 2nd biggest “permanent” brand in English Football (I say permanent because Roman has managed to make Chelsea a huge brand right now but we all know that as soon as Roman leaves so does the exposure that Roman’s money has afforded Chelsea).

    Utd’s brand will only begin to be affected if their results start to suffer and huge swaths of empty seats start appearing at Old Trafford.

  • disappearslikesmoke

    Richard & Tony, your understanding a strength of ‘brand Arsenal’needs to take into account one very vital point. Beyond the issue of ticket sales or as some others have mentioned merchandising revenues. The strength of a brand resides to a great extent in what can be called a value system – in the case of Arsenal it would include things like its attitude towards finances and buying players, its investment in the youth system and the signature style that makes Arsenal’s game a delight for so many fans. If you begin to add these dimensions I suspect the margin by which Arsenal leads the other English clubs as a “brand” would definitely look far healthier. Thanks yet again for a perspective that stands out.

  • Richard B

    Paul C – The Glazers ownership of Manure has everything to do with the brand. Opposition to it would appear to have already, despite success on the pitch, removed the waiting list for season ticket at Old Trafford and must be undermining the effots of their vast marketing department to gain greater sponsorship revenues. It must be more difficult to bring in outsiders to be associated with a ‘matchday experience’ that regularly features thousands of people voicing their opposition to that ownership and wearing non-club colours to emphasise th point?
    Likewise the activites of some of their players off the pitch does nothing to enhance the image of Chelsea.
    In the end the customer pays his money and takes his choice. Thanks to all the other things that are part of the Arsenal brand (including youth policy, playing style etc.) the brand under Wenger has become the strongest and, without doubt, has the greatest potential to become stronger.

  • Enfield Gooner

    I work in a corporate company and have actually spoken to an architect who has studied the Emirates Stadium design and knows it in great detail and asked him about increasing the capacity of the stadium.

    Basically it is possible to build down, i.e. closer to the pitch (There is 1200 seats plus in the first row so going down or across would add about six thousand seats ala Highbury proximity.) Due to rules and regulations this has not been done but can be easily accomplished.

    He did confirm that an upper tier can be added and would be a viable and expensive option one day and this would accomodate all the supporters with regards to toilets/hospitality and entering and exiting the stadium without affecting the current facilities which are great for 60,000 fans.

    In an ideal world another 20,000 to 40,000 would bring in a lot more money but due to transport issues, council regulations and of course money this is something that will happen one day but not now although it is a mouth watering prospect!

    Believe me, our future will be a bright one!

  • Raj V

    I love reading your article on a daily basis! AlwYs brings a smile to my face!!

  • Paul C.

    Richard – just because some Arsenal fans say we have the strongest brand in the world doesnt make it true. Yes, all those things you mention are true. It still doesnt mean Arsenal have a bigger brand than Utd.

    Utd still have a huge revenue advantage over Arsenal. Huge. It was kept smaller last year because our property results were included but when you strip property dealings out of things then Utd have a massive advantage in terms of revenue, and that takes into account the fact that Arsenal can charge twice as much for season tickets being in London as compared to Manchester. So if that is the case and Utd still have this massive advantage in terms of revenue, then surely their efforts to attract new sponsorship cannot be suffering too much. After all last year they signed new sponsorship that was for over twice as much as Arsenal get. Granted some of that difference was due to Arsenal needing up-front cash for the stadium built but they are still a massively attractive proposition for sponsors. When Arsenal come even CLOSE to Utd in terms of revenue (without property dealings included) then we can start to say that Utd’s brand is being adversely affected.

    Ultimately the Glazers this summer were offered a “Get Out of Jail Free” card by the consortium that wanted to buy Utd. That consortium would have paid off all the debt and also given the Glazer’s 400million profit to walk away and leave Utd. The Galzer’s turned down that 400million profit. That means they still feel that the buy-out model they have will work and that the increasing revenues of Utd (they are still increasing every single season) will pay off the debt eventually. As we all know it is the PIK’s that have been killing the Glazers anbd since they restructured the debt last year they are now free from bank constraints to pay off huge chunks of the PIK’s, perhaps even all of it at once. Once the PIK’s are gone then Utd will simply have the bond debt which is every bit as manageable for Utd as the stadium debt is for Arsenal. This year will be a very interesting set of accounts for Utd.

    The thing is, if a bunch of neutral observers were saying “Arsenal have a bigger brand than Utd” then I might believe it but I think it ridiculous for Arsenal fans to sit around saying our club has a bigger brand than Utd when it just isnt the case. Around the world Utd are far, far more recognisable than we are. That is a fact. In England Utd have far more supporters. Yes, some may be pissed off at the Glazer ownership right now but they are still Utd supporters. I dont know why we would even think about competing with Utd in terms of “biggest brand”. Arsenal have always been a club apart, a loner, doing things our own way, not caring what anyone else thinks.

    I would absolutely hate it if Arsenal EVER became the neutrals favorite, the pundits favorite, the media favorite, the club fair-weather fans support, the butt of “so you can see the Emirates floodlights from your backgarden in Surrey” jokes.

    Give Utd their status as a “BRAND”. WE ARE ARSENAL. Screw brand value. For us, that should be all the brand value we need.

  • A Casual Observer

    @Paul C

    I hate to tell you this but despite the sustained media hate campaign we are starting to attract the ‘neutral’ through our style of play (which is begrudgingly labled ‘attractive [but don’t win nuffin]’ by the ‘experts’) – although I doubt that we will EVER be the pundits favourite as their noses are so far wedged up the big North West bum.

  • Paul C.

    ACS – Oh yeah, we get loads of admiring glances, but do those people buy our merchandise and say they are “Arsenal fans”? Probably not.

    Do we have a huge brand now? Of course we do. Is it one of the biggest in the World? Of course it is. Do we have a club to be immensely proud of? Yes, but that has always been the case.

    Is our brand bigger than Utd’s? No.

    Is our brand bigger than Chelsea RIGHT NOW? Probably not, although we have a far bigger dedicated “core” support that will not vanish if we finish lower than 2nd and we rely far less on international branding.

    Dont get me wrong. I am NOT saying our brand is small. I am NOT saying we are not immensely popular. I am NOT saying our brand isnt increasing in value every season.

    All I am saying is that our brand is still not as big as Utd’s. And probably not as big as Chelsea’s AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME.

  • Dark Prince

    I have to agree with Paul C.

    We’re behind United in terms of Brand Value. But there is potential. Obviously, winning trophies is one good way of increasing our Brand Value. Hoping we can start it again this season.

  • On the issue of brand value, in our article we tried to give some factors that would lead to an analysis of brand value, in order to give some sense to the debate. Take those out, and replace them with nothing else, and of course it is just opinion.

    We could say that

    Arsenal’s brand is enhanced by Wenger, who although despised by the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal sites, is (I believe) very highly regarded in much of the world

    Man U’s brand value is decreased by the overt split between the owners and the fans – another personal view.

    Man U’s brand, rather than being increased by the supposed bid which would have given the Glazer’s £400m, was actually reduced because the bid was never actually made. I am not a person with contacts in the highest echelons of finance but I am a chairman of an active company and the sense I got was that the bid was never made because the money was never secure. The proposal was made, but the bid was not because (just as with the Liverpool proposals) the money was never there. That harmed Man U because it meant that there seemed to be no progression – just an endless debt repayment.

    Man U’s brand value has been further reduced by the fact that the club has again failed to make repayments and its PIK interest is on the up again. This is not just a financial matter, it affects the way people see the club.

    Chelsea’s brand value was enhanced of course by their double win last year.

    So it goes – we can debate forever, but if you remove the four basic points we suggested, and don’t replace them with any others, the argument does tend to go around and around.

  • Roh_Indian Gun

    Paul C is rite. Man IOU’s popularity in other parts of the world, notably in Asia(i’m seein this on a regular basis) Chelsea and Man IOU jerseys and merchandise are all over the place but cant say the same about ours… Even in the news… when there is an excitin Arsenal 4-0 win and a scrappy 1-0 man IOU win, the latter is explained in detail while ours is merely mentioned… Hope this shit changes, and the only way that can change is if we win a trophy( i’m not part of the D&G brigade)…

  • Mayur

    Guys, i am moving to england for 1 year in October. So can anyone tell me how i could buy tickets for the Chelsea game and how much it will cost me approx? Besides if i do not get a ticket, where could i watch the game live? I will be living somewhere near Tufnell Park station

  • Aniruddh Ingle

    Arsenal do however have a very strong following in the African continent as well as in some Asian countries, although Man united have been the most prominent football brand in the world we are catching up to them and a few trophies may help us in our cause

    p.s due to Man city’s growing influence Chelsea are losing a big chunk of their bandwagon fans by the minute.

  • Fem Dee

    Richard B @ 2.46pm, you wrote:
    There is no doubt that Mauure have more ‘fans’ around the world, but those people do not contribute to the strength of the core brand if it is not reflected in cash going into that brand.

    We get this often here. Some have even suggested we ought not to have an opinion on some issues that crop up on this blog on this ground but it this really true?

    I get EPL games in Nigeria via a DTH dish that I pay about 40pds per month for. Yes, there are other channels on the service but I’m sure the only thing most males (7-99yrs) sit to watch with fervor and regularity on the service is EPL and the other international soccer feeds.

    There are drinking spots that have redirected their focus to get young, drinking football fans into their bars. A huge slice of Guiness Stout’s promotion and and advertisement is directed at the young chaps in the drinking bars.

    The men talk EPL all weekend and most of the week. Most have chosen one club or the other as his favorite and we definitely pass the “brand recognition test” i.e. if you say Gunners, MANU or Chelsea everyone know what you are talking about…

    All these, with due respect, must certainly count for something in terms of contribution to our respective favorite clubs’ bottomline and don’t justify the dismissive shrug we sometimes get!
    Up Gunners!

  • Paul C.

    Tony – As I said above, I think market cap/revenue is the best possible way to judge brand value, and also the independent assessments of club values (such as the Deloitte studies). All of those indicators put Utd well ahead of Arsenal. In the US Baseball League, St Louis sell out every single home game and have a passionate and dedicated support. The New York Yankees do not sell out every home game, in fact in every match televised there are prominent empty seats right behind home plate in virtually every match. So by your argument, based on season ticket sales and the demand for season tickets, St Louis might be seen to have a bigger brand than the New York Yankees. But by every single other indicator the Yankees are one of the biggest brands in the world as far as sports teams are concerned, and St Louis are virtually unknown.

    I am not comparing Arsenal to St Louis, since in all my posts above I have said that we are a massive club with a massive worldwide brand. I am simply trying to show how using simply season tickets and season ticket demand can be a very misleading indicator. So much depends on the market, competition etc etc.

    Globally, at the moment, Utd’s financial problems are relatively small news, certainly as far as decreasing their brand value. When their financial problems have a direct effect on their on-field results then that will begin to change, just as Barcelona could cover up their own financial issues nicely with more and more trophies. Every season that trophies go missing will highlight the other issues. Utd are still only a few seasons removed from a Champions League victory, and even less time removed from 3 Championships in a row.

    I would say the prospect of Sir Alex Ferguson leaving the club has a far greater potential for harming Utd’s “brand” than their financial issues.

    And as far the summer bid, the Glazer’s, just as Arsenal did with Cesc, made it clear that there would be no chance of any bid succeeding, even if it was 1.2billion as reported. They were every bit as firm as Arsenal were this summer. Whether or not the prospective consortium had funding or not, that made it quite clear that any bid would not be successful. It also showed that the Glazer’s still feel that their model will work, and that Utd will end up being worth far more than that. I want to see how successful the Glazers are at reducing the PIK’s (they have not been allowed to earmark funds to reduce them before this year) before making a judgement as to their financial situation. If they do manage to reduce them then their bond debt is very sustainable.

  • Paul C.

    Fem Dee – great post. International merchandising and marketing is a MASSIVE part of all big clubs strategies now and the pressure is increasingly on Arsenal to take on the hugely profitable pre-season tours that Chelsea and Utd do each summer. As far as brand awareness goes, the tours by Chelsea and Utd have contributed massively to the acquisition of new fans, and therefore revenue streams, all over the world. Here in Canada I meet loads and loads of fans of English Football, and unfortunately I would say that probably 80% say they are Utd or Chelsea fans. Idiots. I might even say Liverpool are the next most popular. It would be close.

    As Roh_Indian Gun says above, in Asia the story is the same. Utd, Chelsea, Barcelona and Madrid dominate. Arsenal are very well known, but not supported in the same numbers as the others. That is why Chelsea have been able to keep up with our revenue despite having 20,000 less fans per home match.

  • Paul C.

    Tony – also, by the 4 factors you state, Tottenham are a bigger brand than Utd because by 3 of the 4 factors they are ahead of Utd. You explain why Arsenal should be ahead of Spurs, but not why Spurs should be behind Utd based on your 4 factors. Do you think Spurs are a larger brand than Utd, and if not why not considering they sell out every home match (and have for years despite mediocre results), have expensive tickets (being in London), and have a waiting list for tickets (we may not know what it is but they definately have a waiting list because I have 2 friends who are on it and have been for 6 years now). Looking at your article you seem to discount Utd because they dont satisfy enough of your criteria, so it becomes a competition between us, Chelsea and Spurs for biggest brand. In your final section you explain away Chelsea and Spurs and so are left with Arsenal as the biggest brand.

    Are you really suggesting that until that final section you were putting Spurs ahead of Utd as far as brand size?

  • Richard B

    Maybe the solution to the useful application of the four criteria is actually some way of combining them into one overall ‘value’. By doing that it would be evident that Spurs are very much smaller than Utd. because the base figure of their total season ticket sales (factor 1) would be so far behind that any reasonable upweighting of it (based on the factors 2-4) could not make up the deficit.
    Of course differet clubs have different marketing plans with regard to the proportion of total seats that they make available as season tickets. I seem to remember reading some time ago that Newcastle tried to sell out all available seats as such. Arsenal have always restricted season ticket availablity saying that they view it as more valuable to allow the less frequent visitor a chance of getting in. That of course satisfies diffent levels of total demand in a different way but also restricts supply and (economic theory would tell us) pushes up the price. Maybe that’s a strategy that is only applicable in London (higher average wealth) and when you have a strong enough history of success to know that interest, however dormant at the time, is still there.
    A comment by the inestimable Ken Friar at an AST open meeting a couple of years back gives us a clue. When asked why we didn’t save all that money and just become renters of Wembley he said that it was too big and that even the most dyed in the wool fan wouldn’t bother with a season ticket if he knew he could just turn up whenever he wanted and be able to get in. Obviously that might not happen for games v Spurs or Manure – but for the majority of games he would be right.
    The management of supply and demand and knowing when (and when not) to raise prices are two great brand management skills which Arsenal have rarely failed to display. Knowing who to sell to is another one which Manure failed to grasp.

  • Good to be a GOONAH!!

    Its a media myth that the United brand is huge world wide. It really is. What they do is travel for a pre-season tour each year and their sponsors go into sales mode.

    But has no one noticed that they can’t sell out these matches? Anywhere? Each and every summer.

    Toronto this summer was ridiculous! http://www.torontosun.com/sports/soccer/2010/07/16/14742476.html

    For context. Toronto FC (the local pro footy side) has sold out every home match in their history. And United can’t draw more than 70% of a 60k ground? Cmon now. Don’t alway believe what you hear in the media.

    Think about it. If United can’t even sell out their own ground… why would we believe that they have such far reach? And whatever reach they have is not any bigger than ours. And we dont tour.

    The short term advantage they have a (un)Sold Trafford is that they have recently push the boat our commerically. Basically they have milked their brand dry. Arsenal have more more expansion potential. Particular with in the shirt sponsor and content provision areas.

  • Paul C.

    Richard – I agree with everything you say. Especially about the need to manage supply and demand as far as attendance is concerned (the biggest reason I dont think the club would ever want to expand beyond 60,000 capacity).

    Ultimately the fact that Utd get over 75,000 for every home match, and could easily draw over 80,000 per game, has to be given huge emphasis. We also dont know what season tickets were left unsold this year. They could have been the most expensive. Utd could still have a huge waiting list of people wanting cheaper seats.

  • Wrenny

    Winning trophies has always been the best way of increasing a club’s ‘brand’. Arsenal are undoubtedly in a very strong position in Britain, which the huge demand for tickets indicates. But in terms of global brand, we are still lagging way behind Man Utd and Chelsea, and that’s mostly down to the recent lack of silverware.

    I don’t understand how this article can use matchday revenue or ticket demand, to measure ‘brand’. The correlation is weak at best.

  • Paul C.

    Good to be a Goonah – uh, Toronto FC dont play in the Rogers Centre. They play in their own stadium, which has a capacity of 21,800. So, Manchester United, without ANY of their 1st team players, attracted 39,000 for a friendly pre-season match. Not bad.

  • Gf60

    Interesting fact is that of the top 10 football blogs (Wiki), dedicated Arsenal blogs take 5. Republic of Mancunia comes in at 11.

    Not quite sure what this proves, (could just be that Arsenal fans have more computer access and/or are far more literate) but it seems a reasonable measure of popularity.

  • Mugisha

    Paul, you mention that the brand for MU is bigger across the world. Recently I had a wedding meeting here in Kampala. We had club accounts – MU, Arsenal and Chelsea. People had a choice to contribute funds in the club accounts, Arsenal was by far the highest.

    Sometimes, people across the world support Arsenal because the way players are nurtured at the club gives hope to many. If this nurturing can yield us a trophy, there is no other club that people would be inclined to support.

    This is not scientific, but I would not just say the support worldwide for MU is more than that of arsenal.

  • critic

    @paul c.
    totally agree with you.
    @tony and richard b.
    plz, arsenal fans have distinction of being intelligent, plz don’t tarnish that image by writing such ridiculous article where u derive formula to prove ur theory according to ur need…..

  • Paul C.

    Mugisha – we could all find specific instances where support varies, and the one thing I would say is that a large percentage of Utd support globally is probably very, how should I put it, non-committal. At the first sign of trouble they’d probably move to Barca to support. I would agree that Arsenal’s support tends to be much more hard-core.

    If this article had said “Arsenal have the POTENTIAL to have the biggest brand in the world for English clubs” I would have agreed 100%.

  • A Casual Observer

    Hmmm…

    According to the spuds ticket site – all their matches appear to be on general sale:

    https://www.eticketing.co.uk/tottenhamhotspur/default.aspx

    Is there really a waiting list?

    Much as I hate to laugh at the afflicted I just can’t help myself – *narf narf narf*

  • A Casual Observer

    WIth regards to Chelsea season tickets, they dont have a waiting list. Excess season tickets at the start of each season are allocated based on loyalty points from games attended the previous season.
    This season not a particularly large number of loyalty points were required in order to obtain a season ticket (though they did sell out). If you go to a dozen or so games this season, you will probably be able to buy a season ticket next year.

  • Now that really is interesting, because it suggests a vulnerability. If things drift away from their current high level of success the ground could empty a little. It also does not bode well for the occasional thoughts about building a new ground for the club.