Football scores in youth sector

I felt obliged to write regarding your recent news story “Awareness of football brands is low” (MW January 15).

As publisher of Match magazine, Britain’s biggest selling football weekly, I can certainly say this is not the case among the under 16s.

For the Match 1997 ad survey, 20,000 questionnaires were inserted in the August 23 issue and a random sample of 1,038 returned papers were analysed. One of the questions asked was : “Can you tell us the make of football boot the following (27) players wear? Respondents received no prompts and were asked to write their answers in.

We found that awareness of the brand of boots players wore was high. Where in your research only the top three players’ brands were recognised by more than 30 per cent of respondents, the top 15 players in our survey were correctly linked to brands by at least 30 per cent of respondents.

Seventy one per cent of match buyers knew that Ryan Giggs wears Reebok; 67 per cent correctly linked David Beckham to Adidas; and 66 per cent knew Alan Shearer wears Umbro and Paul Ince has Adidas boots.

In addition to having good brand awareness, Match readers also aspire to being like their football idols, with a third saying they buy a particular brand because their favourite player does.

This would seem to suggest that companies involved in football merchandise need to look to the younger age groups to maximise their brand awareness.

Robert MacDonald

Publishing director



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