This, the quote from a market stall salesman in propositioning passers-by at a tourist resort. It made me laugh.
As new seasons are upon us, the proliferation of fake strips and merchandise can be found around the World. Even the attention to authentic labels and trade-marking are not preventing the creativity of would-be clothing manufacturers. In Spain, a similar sales representative was a little more coy about unveiling the latest, fake, Barcelona kit for my 7 year old. In Turkey, the Barcelona replicas were on full view on pre-prepared mannequins. £10 for a shirt for the new season (and shorts thrown in, too). No doubt another factor in the demise of such as JJB Sports as publicised this week, reporting poor sales of replica football kits.
I recall a few years back the then Managing Director of adidas quoting that the copying of its footwear whilst illegal was of a particularly good standard. I remember a visit to one such manufacturer in Izmir where a protocol somewhat resembling the keystone cops prevailed. Any investigation required 24 hours’ notice and this resulted in a mass relocation within that timeframe leaving the authorities empty handed.
In the whole of last season, a total of £1 Million of counterfeit Premier League goods were seized, mostly at ports with goods imported from Asia. The task of preventing counterfeit goods is a multi-agency operation, including Customs, Trading Standards and a consultancy called Back Four Ltd.
If fans feel short-changed, at pricing strategies, and yet another strip is perceived as profiteering, can we really be surprised that a less-official alternative might become attractive? A challenge for clubs and retailers to ‘compete’ and add value.
My own book explains many of the links that relate to this blog being mainly about UK and Turkey. I still recall also my father-in-law and brother-in-law’s first trip to Edgeley Park when the then Commercial Director, Steve Bellis, orchestrated a rousing chorus of “Turkey, Turkey, Turkey” in the hospitality suite, post-match, to show warmth and welcoming. A story often recited by relatives in Turkey to this date.
The family remain committed to County and Bilen Kur writes for the leading football blog in the Country, which not surprisingly is called “scarf around my neck”. Bilen is a Co-Director with me at FC Sports Marketing LTD. Talk SPORT has recognised our knowledge in this territory.
Steve has continued his foray into Turkey, though not to my extent obviously. His latest venture is to take the hit reality TV show there with broadcasting on channel, TRT Spor. We played a role in early introductions to selected football contacts to help his Kickworldwide evaluate the feasibility of selected commercial opportunities. We remain able to work in partnership and collaborate on opportunities that might require our different skills.
The show, which is called ‘Futbol Prensi’ in Turkey, is conducting auditions in Konya, Kayseri, Erzurum, Trabzon, Samsun, Ankara, Gazientep, Adana, Antalya, Denizli, Izmir, Bursa, Sakarya, Istanbul and Diyabakir. The winner will be contracted to Liverpool FC.
Our next encounter is social and a trip to The Grange to watch an England match in the Euros. Steve Bellis took the brand of Stockport County into China and created a profile the envy of many an English Premier League club.
Clever use of technology but not nice! Have to applaud the innovatory concept of using a QR code to brandish insults at the opposition’s fans though. This is exactly what happened when Karsiyaka taunted arch rivals Gozteppe.
At the risk of offending, the message was akin to the referee’s parenthood being questioned, with a translation by me, of one set of supporters being the offspring of a prostitute. Other football blog sites suggest a close alternative interpretation.
I have been involved in the use of QR codes but for sensible, non-inflammatory marketing tactics.
But this has given me an idea? Which club over here will mimic the use of QR codes first?
How do we stop it exploding into abusive communications – guess every steward needs a smartphone with scanning app!
It’s an old adage but “football is a world language”. How often have I referred to this, with a comment on football being just the ice-breaker to remove any barriers in conversations or warm up a new acquaintance in commerce. I recall my times in Aarhus and Copenhagen (Denmark) when amongst MDs I discovered the ‘Wembley Club’. My own book has this as a recurring theme.
My last encounter was the Owner/Designer at Loka jewellery. On learning that I was married to a Turk, support Kocaelispor in Turkey (obviously to a lesser degree than County!) and had bought my Son, a cim bom shirt for Christmas – he emphasised that even Barcelona would be defeated by his home team in Mardin. The explanation that followed suggested such a slope on their home pitch (Mardinspor) and on the edge of a ‘mountain’ that the fear and vertigo would undermine even the best team. Must look into this Ground in more detail – but a nice story anyway.