How unhealthy commodity industries find a global audience in the English Premier League: three case studies of brand engagement

Ireland, R., Bunn, C. , Chambers, S. , Reith, G. and Viggars, M. (2022) How unhealthy commodity industries find a global audience in the English Premier League: three case studies of brand engagement. Soccer and Society, 23(4-5), pp. 334-348. (doi: 10.1080/14660970.2022.2059861)

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Establishing the English Premier League has resulted in a dramatic rise in commercial activities, raising public health concerns around unhealthy brand marketing. The present paper deals with three linked case studies analysing the marketing techniques of three of the Premier League’s partners in the 2019/20 season: Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and Cadbury. Data from Twitter were triangulated with promotional materials, product promotions in supermarkets and grey literature. An inductive thematic analysis explored the strategies used to engage fans. The studies show sponsors purchasing access to fans and inserting their brands into the emotional and passionate environment of EPL football. Sponsors evoke cultural traditions to align with and engage fans, to encourage consumption. Consumption is ’responsibilised’ and positioned as an individual choice. The marketing techniques identified exploit social and cultural dimensions of EPL football to increase consumption of unhealthy brands, with the potential to negatively impact on the health of the EPL’s audience.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bunn, Dr Christopher and Chambers, Dr Stephanie and Reith, Professor Gerda and Ireland, Dr Robin
Authors: Ireland, R., Bunn, C., Chambers, S., Reith, G., and Viggars, M.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Soccer and Society
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1743-9590
Published Online:06 April 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Soccer and Society 23(4-5): 334-348
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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