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Irish Journalists React In Disbelief To "Extraordinary" LOI Branding Report

Irish Journalists React In Disbelief To "Extraordinary" LOI Branding Report
By Conor Neville
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The 'League of Ireland brand report' has been published. The report was produced by award winning brand consultant and author Jonathan Gabay. The man himself gave a presentation on his findings for the benefit of the football media this afternoon.

For those present, this appears to have been an unforgettable experience. Or, as Dan McDonnell put it, "extraordinary, just extraordinary."

First, who is Mr. Gabay? According to his website, he is a brand consutlant who blends marketing experience with psychology. He has published a book entitled 'Brand Psychology'.

Through the blended use of marketing and psychology, he says he has "devised an approach for brands which addressed cynics intelligently and authentically."

He was invited to analyse the marketing of the League of Ireland and to suggest innovative ways of marketing the League.

He made a promising beginning - at least in the eyes of  those who commissioned the report.


PHASE 1: The opening


PHASE 2: The FAI = brilliant, the clubs = not so much

It would appear that John Delaney and the FAI's near blamelessness for any of the problems of the League might be facing was a common motif throughout the presentation.

The clubs and fans, on the other hand, were taken to task constantly.

PHASE 3. Affirmation

The FAI duly praised for their efforts, and the fans duly chastised for their attachment to flares, it was time to move onto the real positives that do exist.

"The League is not that bleak," according to Gabay. In fact, it "is cool".

Cork City receive kudos for their top notch curry chips which will please those at Turner's Cross.




PHASE 4: Sponsorship

It is essential here that the FAI keep their cards close to their chest. He also invented a very interesting new concept - "confidential transparency."

PHASE 5: Ideas section

Then came the ideas section. By some distance, this was the most memorable section. Gabay tossed out a range of new ideas, which might charitably be described as "left-field"

Proposals included.

  • LOI scores displayed on bus stops
  • Hollywood walk of fame containing the faces of ex-greats decorating the pathway up to the ground
  • Painting the bus stops near the ground in the club colours
  • Regional Heritage incorporated into the club brand - illustrated with the example of Sligo Rovers harnessing the power of WB Yeats (slouching towards the Showgrounds penalty box to score?)
  • Games with MLS sides to promote among US audiences
  • Half-time EA Sports tournaments broadcast on (which?) giant screens

'Let's make it showbiz.' pic.twitter.com/J48sjmusCK

PHASE 6: Taking on the TV guys

RTE Sport and Eir Sport took a kicking on account of their allegedly boring TV camera angles. Of course, the clubs don't want their games on TV. Shamrock Rovers wrote to RTE asking them not to come to Tallaght at one stage in 2015 season.


PHASE 7: The logo

One of the tangible things to emerge from the report. A new logo was unveiled.

PHASE 8: The end

And then, it was over. The verdict from the Irish football writers community would appear to be uniformly negative. Some had aged quite a considerable bit in the previous hour.


As for Gabay, here he is outlining he is discussing "brand marketing and subliminal advertising" on RT last year. His headline comment is that "one of the most powerful brands today is ISIS".

We hasten to add that he does not support or admire ISIS whatsoever.


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