The opening weekend of the Premier League season saw the brand value of a number of players significantly shift, with Joe Hart’s marketing appeal taking the biggest hit.
The Brandtix sports index reviews performances of individual players and teams both on and off the pitch in order to accurately measure their true brand value in real-time. Using a combination of Opta's on-pitch statistics and social media reach through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Brandtix is able to draw up a comprehensive overview of a players commercial worth.
With the first round of fixtures for the 2016/17 Premier League season out of the way, Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, saw his marketing value suffer the most as a result of Pep Guardiola’s decision to drop him for the team’s 2-1 victory over Sunderland. The England international’s brand value dropped nine per cent to an index score of 380, with 52 per cent of social media discussions about him negative.
“Unfortunately he’s being panned quite badly on social,” said Brandtix chief executive Jon Rosenblatt. “He needs to put in some really stellar performances now, whether it’s for City or another club if he’s going to climb back up that ladder.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic currently resides atop the Brandtix valuations with an Index Score of 669, with Arsenal’s Mesut Özil in second with an Index Score of 584 and Wayne Rooney residing in third with an index Score of 556.
Striker Abel Hernandez’s efforts in helping Hull City defeat champions Leicester City saw him make the biggest gains, with his index score rising 11 per cent since the end of last season, while acquiring 3,000 extra fans on social media in the process.
One of the players with the most untapped marketing potential is Victor Valdes. The new Middleburgh keeper has a massive 13.2 million followers across social and boasts a Brandtix score of 445.
“The difference in social media following between him and Paul Pogba is roughly two million, which is remarkable when you think about the how much Pogba has been talked about this summer,” Mediacom's head of sport and entertainment Misha Sher.
The importance of an individual players brand value is perhaps most significant in China, he continued.
"Football fans in China tend to follow and support players rather than the teams. That's why it's important for clubs and brands to understand which players are popular in a particular region and that's what the Brandtix data can show them," said Sher.
The betting sector is now beginning to dominate shirt sponsorships for clubs, which in turn is helping clubs a wider audience in Asia, however Sher maintains that brands need to understand why they’re getting involved with a particular player or team.
"The betting sector is now dominating the sponsorship with the Premier League but there are plenty brands who can come in and really speak to the fans more and make a difference, not just in terms of how they can enhance the experience, but how they can help the clubs grow their brand and the clubs.”
In this regard, Rosenblatt opines that clubs need to start thinking about the kind of commercial partners they’re bring in from an age segmentation perspective.
“I think Liverpool have done a really good job with this in terms of their partnerships with Subway and Dunkin Doughnuts, these kind of global brands which talk to a slightly younger audience. They also have the partnerships with Vitality and Standard Charter which is health insurance and communicate more with the older generations.”