Globalization Q. In what ways are Manchester United a Global product? Essay
“Globalization Q. In what ways are Manchester United a Global product?”Executive Summary Spectator football has evolved into a truly global phenomenon.
The top events such as the World Cup finals, the European Champions League and large domestic leagues are transmitted by television across the world. On British terrestrial television alone viewers can now choose between English, Scottish, Italian, Dutch and North American football. Alongside these distribution patterns, football clubs have themselves been increasingly international.
A typical example of study is Manchester United football club. Manchester United has players from across the globe and this has, in football, removed the cultural barriers as all these players come from different cultural backgrounds all over the world and have been united by the game of football. Football is a unifying factor and can bring peace and unity to the world. Even economic and cultural ‘enemies’ can become friends in football. It is a great unifying factor and it is an instrument of unification and globalization. In addition to integrating personal and public life, the impact of television and other electronic media on the public has fundamentally altered notions of ‘here’ and ‘there’. In this sense, the proliferation of football across different social and cultural spheres within one national state is already part of a wider globalization process.
While the increasing supernatural state of the game is largely uncontroversial, the academic debates surrounding globalization are not. In a similar vein, to the historical interdependence of modern football and industrialism, the cultural globalization of football must be analyzed before the background of its social, institutional and economic framing. Over the past hundred years, various international foot-balling organizations have been formed.
These are key agents of globalization. Whereas club football has traditionally been considered the counterpart to international football competitions such as European Championships or World Cup, domestic or national leagues are becoming transnational in terms of both production (teams and players) and distribution (broadcasting).AbstractSport, in particular football, constitutes one of the most dynamic, sociologically illuminating domains of globalization. This paper examines the globalization of football with particular reference to Robertson’s theorizations of global processes. We examine football’s cultural globalization through the concept of ‘glocalization’, which highlights the interdependence of local and global processes within the game’s identities and institutions.
We address economic globalization in football by considering the world’s leading clubs as ‘glocal’ transnational corporations. We assess the political globalization of football with reference to the possible enhancement of democracy within the game’s international governance. We conclude by affirming the utility of sport in advancing our empirical and theoretical understanding of globalization processes.Competition is a process of strategic rivalry. Strategic rivalry implies interdependence in the actions and outcomes of a group of organisations. The actions of each organisation are influenced in part by the actions, both actual and expected, of the other organizations.PreambleIn May 2005, US businessman Malcolm Glazer bought a controlling interest in Manchester United for $1.47 billion, of which about $470 million was financed through borrowings against team assets (the club is said to be worth $1.
3 billion) and through unsecured loans. Obtaining over 75% of the club’s shares allowed Glazer to list these debts on the club’s financial books. The club’s 2004 profit was $106 million. The servicing of the debts incurred is likely to cost up to $100 million per year, although the club is currently in talks about re-financing the loan to secure more favourable interest rates.In the broader national and international contexts, the Manchester United takeover can be viewed as part of the globalization of British industry and football. Foreign influences on UK commerce have become pronounced as US, German, Swiss and Dutch banks have made profound impressions on the British financial scene; and as major auto brands have fallen into foreign ownership (Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover to Ford, and Rolls-Royce and the Mini to BMW).
In similar measure, the English Premier League has imported many foreign players whose skills have enhanced the EPL’s reputation as the most competitive in the world. The current England manager is Swedish, and the top three clubs (Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United) have Portuguese, French and Scots managers respectively. While the most famous foreign owner of an English club is Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich, Egyptian Mohamed Al Fayed owns Fulham and a Lithuanian business magnate, Vladimir Romanov, recently bought Scottish club Heart of Midlothian.
The fears: that the servicing of the takeover debt will cripple club finances, hamstring future efforts to bring in talented players to maintain high standards of play. Additional revenues would become necessary for financial solvency. These may include renegotiated broadcast rights (not likely under current arrangements), raised ticket prices, named rights to the Old Trafford stadium (similar to the Emirates deal with Arsenal for $100 million over 15 years). A sad case history was Leeds United, whose excessive debts led to a player sell-off, relegation, and sale of their stadium.The hopes: the Glazer takeover of the US NFL’s Tampa Buccaneers yielded increased admission prices but resulted in stable ownership, a capable administration, talented coaches and a state-of-the-art stadium and training facilities. Glazer initiated significant community outreach programmes in Tampa; and the Glazer Family Foundation has made major charitable contributions. Glazer’s connections could give the club leverage in the potential-laden US market that has 15-20 million soccer players.
Protagonists note that Glazer understands the importance of on-field success in leveraging further value from the global brand. Antagonists claim that Manchester United already has excellent players, management, facilities and community orientation.GLOBALIZATIONGlobalization refers to the growing integration of economies and societies around the world – has been one of the most hotly-debated topics in international economics over the past few years.
Rapid growth and poverty reduction in China, India, and other countries that were poor 20 years ago, has been a positive aspect of globalization. But globalization has also generated significant international opposition over concerns that it has increased inequality and environmental degradation. This site provides access to some of the most recent presentations on globalization and some of the leading research on the subject.Business activities are becoming increasingly global as numerous firms expand their operations into overseas markets. Many U.S. firms, for example, attempt to tap emerging markets by pursuing business in China, India, Brazil, and Russia and other Eastern European countries.
Multinational corporations (MNCs), which operate in more than one country at once, typically move operations to wherever they can find the least expensive labor pool able to do the work well. Production jobs requiring only basic or repetitive skills—such as sewing or etching computer chips—are usually the first to be moved abroad. MNCs can pay these workers a fraction of what they would have to pay in a domestic division, and often work them longer and harder. Most U.S. multinational businesses keep the majority of their upper-level management, marketing, finance, and human resources divisions within the United States. They employ some lower-level managers and a vast number of their production workers in offices, factories, and warehouses in developing countries. MNCs based in the United States have moved many of their production operations to countries in Central and South America, China, India, and nations of Southeast Asia.
(Redmond, WA; 2006)ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATIONIntroductionAll organized communities mix, in various proportions, market activity and government intervention. Private markets themselves differ widely in the degree of competition under which they operate, all the way from single-firm monopolies to the fierce rivalry among hundreds of retailers. Much the same point applies to government intervention, which ranges from mild and comparatively uncoercive manipulation of tax, credit, contract, and subsidy policies through mandatory controls over wages and prices to the detailed central planning of Communist countries.Even those societies most completely committed to central planning, however, grudgingly modify official ideology by some concessions to private enterprise. For example, the USSR allowed its farmers, although organized in collective enterprises, to market crops grown on their own small plots. During the Communist period in Poland, most farming was in the hands of individual owners.
The former Yugoslavia experimented in worker management of factories during its Communist period.Similar variation exists among capitalist economies. In most of them, the government owns and operates railroads and airlines. Even where outright government ownership or operation is exceptional, as in Japan, the central government exerts tremendous influence over economic activity. The United States, the most devoted of major capitalist economies to free enterprise, has nevertheless rescued faltering corporations such as Lockheed and Chrysler and has, for all practical purposes, converted a number of major defense contractors into federal subsidiaries. Many American economists have come to accept the concept of a “mixed economy,” combining private initiative with some government control.Free EnterpriseThe major differences between Communist and American economic organization concern ownership of factories, farms, and other enterprises, as well as contrasting principles of pricing and income distribution.
In the U.S. two-thirds of the nation’s gross national product (GNP) is directly generated by profit-making business enterprises, farmers, and such voluntary nongovernmental entities as private universities, hospitals, cooperatives, and foundations. Of the remaining one-third of the GNP, which is generated by the government, more than half represents transfers from taxpayers to old-age pensioners, veterans, welfare recipients, and other groups of beneficiaries.
See Gross National Product.In recent years in the U.S., the federal government has begun to deregulate industries such as air transportation and thus to diminish its influence over prices and the provision of services. Indeed, the most important price controlled by public influence is the price of money—that is, the rate of interest.Although American opposition to both controls and national planning is strong, the U.
S. government has repeatedly resorted to these measures in times of emergency, such as during World War II and the Korean War. In general, however, free-enterprise economies consider state ownership of productive facilities and government interference in price setting as deplorable exceptions to the rule of private ownership and price determination through the mediation of competitive markets.Global PlanningPrecisely the reverse attitude toward economic central planning is the case in China and certain other Communist countries. Although small private enterprises are increasingly being tolerated, and no centrally planned economy has been able to function without some reliance on private ownership of agricultural land, the dominant ideology favors state planning over competitive price setting, and public ownership of factories, farms, and large retail establishments.Strictly speaking, there is no reason why a democratic community could not freely choose to plan production, prices, and the distribution of income and wealth.
In contemporary experience, however, central economic planning has generally run parallel to Communist Party control of political life. Nonetheless, important differences exist in the strictness of these constraints in different Communist countries and even within the same country at different times. It is also true that capitalism has frequently been accompanied by repressive government, as for example in Chile and Brazil.The gravest problems of capitalism are unemployment, inflation, and economic injustice. Parallel problems in centrally planned economies include underemployment, rationing, bureaucracy, and scarcity of many consumer items.Liberal EconomiesFalling somewhere between societies that emphasize either central planning or free enterprise are those that practice social democracy or liberal socialism. Examples of social democracy are the Scandinavian countries, Sweden in particular.
Sweden organizes the bulk of productive activity under private ownership but regulates this activity closely, intervenes to protect the jobs of workers, and redistributes substantial portions of profits and large individual incomes to low-income groups.On the other hand, the former Yugoslavia from the 1950s through the 1980s supplied an example of a liberal socialist society. Although the Communist Party dominated, censorship was mild, emigration was easy, religion was freely exercised, and a unique mixture of state ownership, worker management, and private enterprise combined to operate a comparatively prosperous economy.Future TrendsBy the early 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, coupled with the fall of Communist governments in most of Eastern Europe, underlined the trend away from centrally planned economies and toward a freer market system. Seeking to overcome a legacy of inefficiency and mismanagement, the post-Communist nations found themselves competing with Third World countries for investment capital and technological assistance.Opinions differ as to how long sustained economic growth can continue.
Optimists pin their hopes on the ability to improve crop yields and enhance industrial productivity through technological innovation. Pessimists point to diminishing resources, unchecked population growth, excessive military spending, and the reluctance of rich countries to share their wealth and expertise with less fortunate nations. Government instability, endemic corruption, and wide swings in economic policy make the Third World’s economic prospects seem even less auspicious in the 1990s.
For information concerning specific economic concepts and problems, See Capital; Capitalism; Competition; Consumption; Currency; Debt, National; Finance; Foreign Trade; Labor, Division of; Monopoly. For further information on individuals mentioned, see biographies of those whose names are not followed by dates.Global FootballingAn Aspect of the economic globalization of football relates to the players who participate in the sport. If it were not a global product then you would expect those who take part in the sport would be predominantly from the nation in which it is played.
This is not the case and as the majority of all football leagues are infiltrated with large proportions of players from foreign nations. Frontline magazine (issue 14, July 06-19, 2002) noted that in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup none of the 11 men in the Senegal team played football in their home nation. They were all based in France. Furthermore, not one of the French men who they were playing against in that match played football in their native country of France. Instead they played in the more lucrative Spanish, Italian, English or German leagues where salaries are higher and/or taxes lower. Dobson and Goddard (2001) showed that the proportion of football players born outside of Britain and Ireland playing in English leagues rose from 2.
2 per cent in 1979 to 14.4 per cent in 1999.Sponsorship is an important part of football. Each club may have several sponsors which help pay the rising costs of being a top league football team. Sandvoss (2003) highlighted that football clubs form so called ‘strategic partnerships’ with transnational corporations who pursue their global advertising and promotional interests through such cooperation.
For example, in 1993 the Japanese J-League was formed. By 2003 all 15 teams in it were owned by large Japanese corporations such as Nissan, Mazda and Toyota. Sandvoss (2003) noted that the ultimate aim of sponsorship within football is to enhance the brand image of the sponsor. One of Manchester United’s sponsor’s is Nike which in 2002 signed a deal worth over £300 million for a 13 year contract with the club. In turn, this also benefited Manchester United as it helped it reach the 130 countries that Nike operates in World Wide (Connolly 2003).
Connolly (2003) also stated that Brands improve their image with the club they sponsor.CULTURAL GLOBALIZATIONIntroductionAnthropologists have described a number of different categories of culture. For example, a simple distinction can be made between cultural objects, such as types of clothing, and cultural beliefs, such as forms of religion. Many early anthropological definitions of culture are essentially descriptions of categories of culture or cultural items.British anthropologist Edward B. Tylor gave one of the first complete definitions of culture in his book Primitive Culture (1871). His definition stated that culture includes socially acquired knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, customs, and habits.
In 1930 American anthropologist George P. Murdock went much further, listing 637 major subdivisions of culture. Murdock developed an elaborate coding system, known as the Human Relation Area Files. He used this system to identify and sort hundreds of distinctive cultural variations that could be used to compare different cultures.Later anthropologists came up with simpler categorizations of culture.
A common practice is to divide all of culture into three broad categories: material, social, and ideological. A fourth category, the arts, has characteristics of both material and ideological culture.Material culture includes products of human manufacture, such as technology. Social culture pertains to people’s forms of social organization—how people interact and organize themselves in groups.
Ideological culture relates to what people think, value, believe, and hold as ideals. The arts include such activities and areas of interest as music, sculpture, painting, pottery, theater, cooking, writing, and fashion. Anthropologists often study how these categories of culture differ across different types of societies that vary in scale (size and complexity).Anthropologists have identified several distinct types of societies by scale. The smallest societies are known as bands. Bands consist of nomadic (not settled) groups of fewer than a hundred, mostly related people.
A tribe, the next largest type of society, generally consists of a few hundred people living in settled villages. A larger form of society, called a chiefdom, binds together two or more villages or tribes under a leader who is born into the position of rule. The largest societies, known as civilizations, contain from several thousand to millions of mostly unrelated people, many of whom live in large cities. Some anthropologists characterize the world today as a single global-scale culture, in which people are linked together by industrial technology and markets of commercial exchange.
Football Culture In the cultural sphere, soccer has changed the world and removed so many cultural barriers, which hitherto has kept people apart, but has and is unifying the world’s cultures and making it one. Though the wave of racism still trails, soccer and the Manchester brand is an element capable of wiping away racism from the globe.There is widespread disagreement over what, if any, regulation is appropriate in the realm of culture. Some people fear a loss of cultural diversity as U.S.
media companies become dominant. Such companies tend to “bundle” their products so that a blockbuster movie is promoted by selling soundtracks, books, video games, and other products. These cultural wares are distributed worldwide, and along with reruns of U.S. television shows, tend to replace local alternatives.
The question is whether responses by other nations, such as prohibitions against the English language and government subsidies of national cultural productions, are legitimate restraints of trade or represent an unfair trade practice. (Tabb, William K, 2006)Most experts attribute globalization to improvements in communication, transportation, and information technologies. For example, not only currencies, but also stocks, bonds, and other financial assets can be traded around the clock and around the world due to innovations in communication and information processing.
A three-minute telephone call from New York City to London in 1930 cost more than $300 (in year 2000 prices), making instant communication very expensive. Today the cost is insignificant.Advances in communication and information technologies have helped slash the cost of processing business orders by well over 90 percent.
Using a computer to do banking on the Internet, for example, costs the banking industry pennies per transaction instead of dollars by traditional methods. Over the last third of the 20th century the real cost of computer processing power fell by 35 percent on average each year. Vast amounts of information can be processed, shared, and stored on a disk or a computer chip, and the cost is continually declining.
People can be almost anywhere and remain in instant communication with their employers, customers, or families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or 24/7 as it has come to be known. When people in the United States call a helpline or make an airline reservation, they may be connected to someone in Mumbai (Bombay), India, who has been trained to speak English with an American accent. Other English speakers around the world prepare tax returns for U.S. companies, evaluate insurance claims, and attempt to collect overdue bills by telephone from thousands of kilometers and a number of time zones away.Development of a Global CultureBy the early 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, coupled with the fall of Communist governments in most of Eastern Europe, underlined the trend away from centrally planned economies and toward a freer market system. Seeking to overcome a legacy of inefficiency and mismanagement, the post-Communist nations found themselves competing with Third World countries for investment capital and technological assistance.Opinions differ as to how long sustained economic growth can continue.
Optimists pin their hopes on the ability to improve crop yields and enhance industrial productivity through technological innovation. Pessimists point to diminishing resources, unchecked population growth, excessive military spending, and the reluctance of rich countries to share their wealth and expertise with less fortunate nations. Government instability, endemic corruption, and wide swings in economic policy make the Third World’s economic prospects seem even less auspicious in the 1990s.For information concerning specific economic concepts and problems, See Capital; Capitalism; Competition; Consumption; Currency; Debt, National; Finance; Foreign Trade; Labor, Division of; Monopoly. For further information on individuals mentioned, see biographies of those whose names are not followed by dates.Technology and Cultural GlobalizationAdvances in communications instantly unite people around the globe. For example, communications satellites allow global television broadcasts to bring news of faraway events, such as wars and national disasters as well as sports and other forms of entertainment. The Internet, the cell phone, and the fax machine permit instantaneous communication.
The World Wide Web and computers that store vast amounts of data allow instant access to information exceeding that of any library.Improvements in transportation are also part of globalization. The world becomes smaller due to next-day delivery by jet airplane. Even slow, oceangoing vessels have streamlined transportation and lowered costs due to innovations such as containerized shipping.
Rapid changes in technology in the last several decades have changed the nature of culture and cultural exchange. People around the world can make economic transactions and transmit information to each other almost instantaneously through the use of computers and satellite communications. Governments and corporations have gained vast amounts of political power through military might and economic influence. Corporations have also created a form of global culture based on worldwide commercial markets.
Local culture and social structure are now shaped by large and powerful commercial interests in ways that earlier anthropologists could not have imagined. Early anthropologists thought of societies and their cultures as fully independent systems. But today, many nations are multicultural societies, composed of numerous smaller subcultures.
Cultures also cross national boundaries. For instance people around the world now know a variety of English words and have contact with American cultural exports such as brand-name clothing and technological products, films and music, and mass-produced foods.Many anthropologists have become interested in how dominant societies can shape the culture of less powerful societies, a process some researchers call cultural hegemony. Today, many anthropologists openly oppose efforts by dominant world powers, such as the U.S. government and large corporations, to make unique smaller societies adopt Western commercial culture.
(Bodley, John H; 2006)DEVELOPMENTS IN THE GAME OF FOOTBALLAlmost every country in Europe, North America, and South America has prominent professional leagues, and many countries in Africa and Asia have them as well. These leagues are usually divided by skill level, with teams moving up or down from league to league depending on performance from year to year. In most countries the best teams also attempt to qualify for a berth in a major regional tournament such as the European Cup or South America’s Copa Libertadores (Spanish for Liberator’s Cup). Many teams evoke loyal support from fans well beyond their own region.
A.C. Milan of Italy, Ajax Amsterdam of The Netherlands, Manchester United of England, Real Madrid of Spain, Boca Juniors of Argentina, São Paulo of Brazil, and Colo Colo of Chile are a few of the world’s most famous teams. In 1996 a new professional league known as Major League Soccer (MLS) began play in the United States. Beginning with ten teams, MLS added two more franchises in 1998 and is divided into three four-team divisions—Western, Central, and Eastern. The MLS regular season runs from April to September, followed by an eight-team playoff.
The top two teams to emerge square off in the championship match, called the MLS Cup. The majority of MLS players are American, but the league also attracts stars from many South and Central American countries, as well as from Africa and Europe.International CompetitionThe most famous competition in soccer is the World Cup, which is regarded as the world championship of the sport and is considered the most popular spectator event in the world. A worldwide television audience of 1.7 billion, or nearly one-third of the world’s population, witnessed the 1998 World Cup championship game between France and Brazil won by France, 3-0.
By comparison, about 800 million people watched the Super Bowl of American football that same year.The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the worldwide governing body of soccer. FIFA governs all levels of soccer, including professional play, Olympic competitions, and youth leagues. The organization also governs the sport’s premier event, the World Cup, an international competition held every four years pitting national teams from 32 countries against one another.CompetitionWinnerYearHostWorld Cup (men)Italy2006GermanyWorld Cup (women)Germany2003United StatesOlympic Games (men)Argentina2004GreeceOlympic Games (women)United States2004GreeceCopa AmericaBrazil2004PeruEuropean ChampionshipGreece2004PortugalAfrican Nations CupEgypt2006EgyptCONCACAF Gold CupUnited States2005United StatesAsian Cup of NationsJapan2004ChinaSource: Fédération Internationale de Football Association.Fig 1: Major International Soccer Competitions: ChampionsBrazil, with four titles, has more World Cup championships than any other country. Italy and Germany have won three titles each.
(All three of Germany’s titles were won by West Germany before the country reunified in 1990.) Uruguay and Argentina have each won twice, and France and England have each captured the cup once. Although Europe and South America are the only continents to have produced World Cup champions, national teams on other continents are gaining strength, especially in Africa, where Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana are among the countries that have produced talented players and teams. Olympic soccer, which debuted at the 1900 Games in Paris, France, is the second most important international competition.
After pre-Olympic regional tournaments, 16 teams compete during the Summer Games. Olympic guidelines require that players must be younger than 23 years old, although in some years nations have been allowed to use as many as three players older than 23.International competitions based on the World Cup and Olympic tournaments are also held for women, although these competitions were established much later than those for men. Some of the world’s strongest female squads are the United States, Norway, and China. The United States won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991 and won the gold medal when women’s soccer debuted at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. The United States won a dramatic penalty-kick tiebreaker over China to capture the 1999 Women’s World Cup, an event hosted by the United States that broke attendance records for women’s sports. (Davis, Steve; 2006)BRANDINGIntroductionBranding originally, searing of flesh with a hot iron to produce a scar with an easily recognizable pattern for identification or other purposes. Branding was formerly used on human beings, but the practice is now limited to identifying animals.
Branding today is often done with chemicals, tattooing, paint, tagging, or ear-notching. Livestock were branded by the early Egyptians as early as 2000 bc. The practice of branding horses and cattle was brought to North America in the 16th century by the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés. Used at first primarily as proof of ownership, branding is done to keep records on quality. In most cattle states, registration of brands is required by law, and altering a brand is a criminal offense.In criminal law branding of prisoners was a form of punishment used by the Greeks and Romans and later adopted by the Anglo-Saxons. Criminals, slaves, and army deserters have often been branded. The practice declined about the middle of the 19th century.
Making Globalization Work for AllThe Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, hosted an international conference at the Treasury on Monday, 16 February 2004. Sponsored by Lord Carey of Clifton and Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, the conference will examine the challenges of making globalisation work for all. Delegates have been invited to attend from the faith, business, academic, NGO and diplomatic communities, as well as representatives from Government and Parliament. They will hear keynote addresses from Gordon Brown; Jim Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank; Bono; President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil; and Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development.Building an Inclusive World EconomyGlobalization has helped reduce poverty in a large number of developing countries but it must be harnessed better to help the world’s poorest, most marginalized countries improve the lives of their citizens, says a new World Bank research report published today.
Includes quotes from James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank. (December 5, 2001)METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH The methodology of this research first involves an expository of globalization as an art. It outlines the historical factors and then identifies economic and cultural influences as the key indexes in the globalization of modern football. This takes the Manchester United club as a case study, giving a critical review of how it has thus become a global phenomenon and how football is rapidly turning the world into a global village.Theoretical FrameworkThe theoretical framework of our research is concerned mainly with the anthropological concept of culture and the geographical concept of region.
As to the first, we assume the anthropological concept to be one that defines culture as “pattern of meaning” (Geertz, 1992, 20 ff.; Thompson, 1992, 183 ff.). In this perspective, and in descriptive terms, we understand as “culture” a complex set of signs, symbols, norms, models, attitudes, values and mentalities through which social actors give sense to their surroundings and construct, among other things, their collective identity. This definition allows us to distinguish between two “states”, or forms of existence, of culture (Bourdieu, 1979, 3-6): the objectivated state (in the form of objects, institutions and practices that may be directly observed); and the “subjectivated” or internalized state (in the form of social representations and distinctive, identifying habitus that serve as schemata for the perception of reality, and as guidelines for orientating action). This distinction, between the objectivated and subjectivated states, is very important for the purposes of our research, as it will allow us to distinguish among levels or layers in the regional culture, dimensions such as: the “ecological”, the ethnographical, and that of the identity processes linked to the socio-territorial sense of belonging.
We understand “region” as the territory that is an “appropriated space”(Raffestin, 1980; Baud et al. 1997, 129), one that corresponds to a socially-felt need for an intermediate entity that lies between the space of immediate daily life and the wider spaces of the States and the World System. Fremont (1999) describes it thus: “In general terms, ‘region’ is an intermediate space, smaller than the nation or the great extent of civilization, but vaster than the social space of a group and, a fortiori, of a locality. It includes daily-life spaces and social spaces, giving them a minimum of coherence and of specificity that convert them into a structured set (the regional combination), and distinguish this by certain representations in the perception of inhabitants or of strangers (the regional images).” In any case, the region –and, above all, the cultural region – must not be considered as a priori datum, but as a theoretical construction founded on the most diverse criteria: geographical, economical, political-administrative, and historic-cultural. As to the complex relationships between culture and region, if we take the point of view of objectivated forms of culture, two cases can be distinguished: On the one hand, these forms could be expressed in the regional landscape, natural or anthropized (Demarchi, 1983, 5), transforming it into a metonymical symbol of the whole region (geo-symbol), or into a mnemonic sign that shows vestiges of the historic past. This is the ecological dimension of regional culture that will include the geo-symbols and the environmental goods such as rural, urban and town landscapes; the characteristics of the habitat; monuments; the network of highways and roads; irrigation channels and, in general, any element of anthropized nature. On the other hand, “region” can be considered as an area of distribution of institutions and specific and distinctive cultural practices departing from a center point, that is to say, as a cultural area in the sense explained previously by C.
Wissler (Mercier, 1971, 83 ff.). It always describes objectivated cultural forms, such as: distinctive behavior patterns, regional costumes, annual festivities and specific rituals of the life cycle, local dances, regional dishes, and linguistic forms of local socio-languages. We can denominate this aggregation of traits as regional ethnographic culture because all of them are of an ethnographic kind (Bouchard, 1994, 110-120).Cultural Region From the point of view of the internalized forms of culture, “region” could be appropriated subjectively as an object of representation and of affective attachment and, above all, as a symbol of socio-territorial identity. In this sense, subjects (individual or collective) internalize regional space, incorporating it into their own cultural system.
With this, we have moved from an “external” territorial reality, culturally marked, to an “internal”, and invisible, territorial reality, the result of filtration from the former, with which it co-exists. This dichotomy between objectivated and subjectivated ways of symbolic appropriation of the region is fundamental if we are to understand that physical “de-territorialization” – such as occurs in the case of migration – does not automatically implicate “de-territorialization” in symbolic and subjective terms. One can abandon a territory, physically, without losing symbolic and subjective reference to this through long-distance communication, memory, souvenirs and nostalgia. One can even be a true cosmopolite, because forced to, without losing one’s sense of “love for the small town left behind” (Hanners, 1992, 239 ff.). When one emigrates to foreign lands, frequently it is with “the homeland inside.” The so-called “geography of perception” uses this subjective dimension of the region, implying an essential reference to the identity-formation processes.
From our point of view, regional identity is derived from the socio-regional sense of belonging, and it appears when at least a significant part of the inhabitants of a region have incorporated the symbols, values and deepest hopes of the region into their own cultural system. M. Bassand (1981, 5) defines regional identity as the distinctive, specific image (complete with norms, models, representations, values, etc.) that the social actors of a region have forged within themselves in the process of their relationships with other regions and collectivities. This image may be more complex or less, and have as a basis either a past or present patrimony, or a valued natural environment, or a history, or a specific economic activity, or, finally, a combination of all these elements.
Global MigrationConcerning the effects of globalization on types of migration, we may distinguish these two situations:The great transnational firms have generated through their politics of de-localization and global dispersion of economic activities, stimulated by globalization, a complete system of services based on marginal workers who labor “under conditions of strong social, salarial and, frequently, ethnic-racial conditions.” (Sassen, 1997, cited by Berti, 2000, 85). These are the conditions especially destined for immigrants in central cities like New York.
The new technologies applied to information, to communication and to means of transport – unquestionable aspects of globalization – have produced a new condition for migrants in their destined places: diáspora. This condition implies the constant maintenance of material and simbolic links with their community of origin, such as we have observed among the migrants from Atlixco.Competitive advantage in footballOne of the major features of English professional soccer over the last decade or so has been the dominance of Manchester United both on and off the field. Since the Football Association (FA) Premier League was formed in 1992, Manchester United has won the championship eight times and never finished outside the top three. In addition, Manchester United has enjoyed considerable recent success in both domestic and European cup (i.e. knockout) tournaments, winning the FA Cup (1990, 1994, 1996, 1999), the Football League Cup (1992), the European Cup-Winners’ Cup (1991) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League (1999). The winning of the Treble of the FA Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League in season 1998-9 is unparalleled.
Only the similarly dominant Liverpool team of the 1970s and 1980s had previously come close in the season of 1976-7, winning the League Championship and European Cup and reaching the FA Cup Final, only to lose, by a strange twist of historical fate, to Manchester United. Off the field Manchester United has been similarly dominant, recording the highest turnover of any soccer team worldwide most years and considerably ahead of its nearest domestic challengers. Manchester United is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has achieved a peak market value in excess of $1 billion.An important topic of research in economics, strategic management and other business disciplines is the persistence of competitive success (see, for example, Hay and Vickers, 1987; Saloner et al., 2001). Why do some firms continue to achieve excess returns (i.e. rates of return above the cost of capital) over a long period of time? Excess returns offer a strong signal to existing and potential competitors of profitable opportunities; yet successful business organisations are able to continually withstand such competitive pressure.
These successful firms have achieved a sustainable competitive advantage and the sources of this advantage are a matter of considerable academic and business interest.To date the literature has focused on business organisations but the concept of sustainable competitive advantage is potentially applicable to a much wider range of organisations. Professional team sport offers a uniquely attractive research site for the study of sustainable competitive advantage for a number of reasons.
First, professional sports teams are involved in both sporting and commercial competition, providing an opportunity to study differences and similarities in how external and internal factors impact on how competitive processes determine sporting and commercial performance. Second, professional team sport is a highly transparent and data-rich industry in which it is possible to observe and measure the performance of key individuals within the organisation without any access requirement.THE CLUB MANCHESTER UNITEDIntroductionThe purpose of this case study is to examine how Manchester United evolved out of its position as one of two provincial soccer teams in the city of Manchester to its current status among the best known brands in sport. To capture the richness and depth of the Manchester United appeal, Aaker’s (1996) brand identity model was used to cull the major resource factors contributing to the club’s strong global marketplace presence. In addition, and because global sports brands, like their product counterparts, function within their global and industry contexts (Gerrard, 2003), these structural influences were evaluated to provide balanced perspectives on the club’s strategy. The primary methodological tool was document analysis.
This involved an extensive review of the literature and in-depth analyses of Manchester United’s annual reports (2000-2004). Documentary data reliability and validity were checked and supplemented with information supplied by the club’s marketing director, Peter Draper, and its communications director, Phillip Townsend.The ClubResults highlight the interaction between global, industry and resource factors in Manchester United’s evolution from provincial to national to global brand status. Its key success factors are unsurprising for a sports brand–on-field successes. But its commercial success and sports icon image emanate from a club that has combined an attractive on-field playing style with astute off-the-field management.
This includes extensive leveraging of the club’s name through branded products and services that raise its market profile nationally and internationally, and proactive marketing that takes prime advantage of industry developments that have moved English football into the global arena through worldwide media.Brand heritage emerges as a critical brand identity factor, with a club history based on local talent development, supplemented with management-inspired signings of star players. This has produced, perhaps uniquely in football annals, a series of player icons that has elevated the Manchester United profile but which was skillfully managed to maintain the club’s core team-oriented concept.
The lessons derived from analysis of Manchester United have direct relevance to sport management: how to raise and maintain club profiles in national and global contexts; how to leverage brand names commercially to complement on-field success with off-field activities; and how to harness technology to broaden appeal. The most critical factors however are resource-based. On the field, management has maintained its focus on producing an attractive product–attacking football. This has endured through continuous renewal of player resources and their moulding within the team concept. Off the field, an alert, marketing-oriented management has taken full advantage of that success. The common denominator has been total commitment to and single-minded pursuit of excellence.Players – David BeckhamDavid Robert Joseph Beckham was born in the Leytonstone area of London.
He was signed by the Manchester United club as a junior player while still in his teens. Beckham made his first appearance on the senior team for Manchester United as a substitute in 1992, and his first league game came in 1995 against Leeds United. On the first day of the 1996-97 season, he made a stunning goal in a game against Wimbledon, scoring from his own team’s half of the field. Two weeks later he made his international debut for England in a World Cup qualifying match.An attacking midfielder with a hard shot, Beckham is a specialist at scoring on long-range free kicks.
He led Manchester United to titles in the Premier League (England’s top soccer league) in 1996 and 1997 and was voted the Professional Football Association (FA) Young Player of the Year for the 1996-97 season.Beckham rose to international prominence during the 1998 World Cup when he scored on a spectacular free kick in the early rounds, before being disqualified for kicking an opponent during England’s second-round match against Argentina—an incident that provoked a great deal of criticism by England’s followers. Despite much derision from opposing fans over the ejection, Beckham helped Manchester United to an unprecedented championship run in the 1998-99 season, winning the European Champions League, FA Premiership, and FA Cup titles. Manchester United also won the Premiership title in the 1999-2000, 2000-01, and 2002-03 seasons. At the end of 2001 Beckham was runner-up to Portuguese star Luis Figo in the voting for the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Player of the Year Award. In 2003 Beckham’s professional contract was sold to the Spanish club Real Madrid.Beckham was named captain of the English national team in 2000 and kept the title under the team’s new coach, Sven-Göran Eriksson, for the 2002 World Cup. One of Beckham’s most dramatic national team goals came against Greece in 2001, a late score that clinched a berth for England in the World Cup tournament.
Beckham broke his foot in the months leading up to the 2002 World Cup, however, and barely managed to recover in time for the tournament. He still managed to lead his team to the quarterfinals, where England was beaten by eventual winner Brazil.Fans and customer relationshipsManchester United has been an active relationship-builder throughout much of the post-1945 era. Today, the club maintains a fan base of nearly 200,000 with its One United Membership Scheme in the UK and up to 75 million fans worldwide.Ironically, it was a tragedy that first triggered emotional ties among football fans toward the club. In 1958, eight players were killed in Munich, Germany, as the team aeroplane crashed. A surviving player, Bobby Charlton, noted (Dunphy, 1991, p.
249): “Before Munich, it was Manchester’s club, afterwards, everyone felt they owned a little bit of it.” Since that time, the club has devoted considerable time and expense to nurturing and developing its fan base, both in the UK and outside.Commercial relationships with fans Manchester United was among the first football clubs to track fan needs through research and cement ties through opportunities to purchase club-branded products and services. As the Premiership got underway in the early 1990s, Manchester United capitalised on its success to launch a stream of non-football-related products and services.
Its Champs Cola was launched in 1993 (Manchester Union aims to score, 1993). In the mid-1990s, Manchester United added branded wines, lagers and a champagne to the list (Manchester Union tries branded champagne, 1997). Financial services (insurance, loans, credit cards) were added under the MU Finance brand. The club joined with Vodafone to launch MU Mobile, and with Travelcare to provide travel services under the MU Travel brand. In 2003, the Red Cinema Complex was opened in the Salford suburb of Manchester.The City – ManchesterManchester (England), city in northwestern England, administrative center of the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, on the Irwell, Medlock, Irk, and Tib rivers. Manchester is a major industrial center and has long been known as the leading cotton textile manufacturing city in Britain. It is also an important English port, connected by the Manchester Ship Canal (completed 1894) to Eastham on the Mersey River and accessible to oceangoing vessels.
The city’s diversified manufactures include paper products, pharmaceuticals, electrical and aircraft equipment, computers, electronic equipment, and food products. Manchester lies near a coal-mining region.Educational institutions in the city include the large Victoria University of Manchester (1903), Royal Northern College of Music (1923), and Manchester Metropolitan University (1992, formerly a polytechnic college). A noted cultural center, Manchester is the home of the extensive John Rylands University Library collection; the renowned Hallé Orchestra (1857); and the Manchester City Art Galleries (1823), which include museums of archaeology and natural history, and science and technology. Manchester is also the seat of a bishopric of the Anglican church, and its cathedral dates from the 15th century.The Roman outpost of Mancunium was established here in the 1st century.
The medieval town was probably founded in the 10th century. Manchester was chartered in 1301, at which time it was developing an active wool industry. It was a thriving commercial town by the 17th century, when the manufacture of cotton textiles was begun. With the introduction (1783) of steam power in cotton milling, Manchester commenced its dramatic growth. It was connected by railroad with the seaport of Liverpool in 1830.Manchester was the scene of the Peterloo Massacre (August 1819), in which a group of people petitioning for repeal of the Corn Laws and for parliamentary reform were killed by city authorities in Saint Peter’s Field. Throughout the 19th century, the citizens of Manchester were notably active in the liberal-reform movement in politics and in the development of facilities for public education.
The city also became a publishing center; the esteemed daily newspaper, the Guardian, was founded here in 1821 as the Manchester Guardian.Declining textile production since the mid-19th century has been partially offset by the introduction of new industries. The city suffered damage from German bombing during World War II (1939-1945) but has since undergone extensive urban rebuilding. Population 392,900 (2001) .Building relationships with other global brandsBeing associated with other international brand names lends global auras to brands as they go worldwide. Rossaaen ; Amis (2004) noted that both Manchester United and Nike gained in global stature after the announcement of their global tie-in.
In recent years Manchester United has formed commercial alliances with a number of global players in other industries: Vodafone, Pepsi, Budweiser and Fuji were all added to the club’s sponsorship list. Under these arrangements the club gains from sponsors’ international reputations and sponsors gain from their association with a marquee sports brand.Building relationships with foreign fansIn the home market, British clubs can build relationships with fans from being a part of the national local sports scenes over decades and through week-to-week media exposure during the soccer season (August to May).
Taking the Manchester United image and brand into foreign markets poses the challenge of building emotional ties with fans less familiar with the club’s history or who have not witnessed at first hand the excitement of the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ atmosphere at the Old Trafford stadium. Televised broadcasts and print exposures are the entrees, but the all-important follow-ups are where club-fan relationships are built and fans are converted into consumers.Building brand relationships with global consumers works best when not done through conventional mass media. Joachimsthaler & Aaker (1997) noted that the most successful brands are built through experiences in unconventional settings–sponsorships (such as Hugo Boss with Formula One racing, art exhibitions, golf); publicity (Benetton’s controversial non-product-related AIDS campaigns); or the Cadbury’s Chocolate theme park, Cadbury World, in Bournville, UK. All have one thing in common: customer involvement in the brand-building experience. The involvement factor has been critical to Manchester United’s brand-building efforts in Asia and North America.Football as a Unique GameIn contrast to some sports, soccer has many attractive features that contribute to its current 300-million player following and a fan base that is measured in the billions worldwide (Blatter, 1999). It is action-oriented.
It builds stamina and aerobic conditioning. There are few physical size or age limitations. Its rules are relatively simple to understand. It requires minimal equipment (appropriate footwear, shin-guards and uniforms for organized play) and facilities. Soccer is very team-oriented, with many players usually participating in moving the ball up the field.
It can be played in many climates; and in contrast to many US sports, on-field strategies are largely player-created.Football brand valueFor a brand to be successful, it must be part of a product group that is perceived to be quality-laden and that provides value for money. In the automobile industry, for example, Mercedes has this image. In football, Manchester United is part of the EPL, widely touted as the most competitive in the world. The reasons for this reputation are rooted in Porter’s (1990) Competitive Advantage of Nations theory of international competitiveness, which posits that within specific industries, clusters of expertise result from highly competitive national environments. This expertise enables them to become extremely competitive in the global marketplace.
The strong rivalries within the British club system, from local leagues all the way up to the Premier League, have resulted in a consistent ratcheting up of performance levels in the modern era.Over the past decade, on-field performance has been bolstered through a global commitment to excellence–obtaining the best players and managers regardless of national origin (see Box 1). As a result, to maintain leadership positions, top clubs such as Manchester United must consistently perform to high standards over long periods. This makes them attractive propositions in the international marketplace.English FootballWhile the sport of soccer is global, British (and English) football has specific advantages over that of other countries and these have contributed to the global appeal of its clubs. One of these is its history as the home of the modern organized game. International marketers (e.
g. Roth & Romeo, 1992) have noted that country-of-origin advantages accrue when countries become associated with specific industries, products or services. French champagne, German engineering and cars (Mercedes, Porsche, BMW), Japanese electronics (Sony, Panasonic) and US computers and software (IBM, Microsoft) have all benefited from being centres of excellence for their specific industry sectors. While the sport of soccer did not originate in Britain, British clubs have benefited from being the birthplace of the modern organized game. Many clubs in the UK have been established for more than 100 years and their solid geographic franchises have resulted in strong local fan bases. Manchester United celebrated its centenary in 2002.Market StrategyEffective strategies take account of marketplace developments, and as the 21st century got underway, the trend of globalization was very much apparent in the world economy. Defined by Aninat (2002, p.
4) as “the process through which an increasingly free flow of ideas, peoples, goods and services and capital leads to the integration of economies and societies”, globalisation has resulted in nation states forging links through trade, investments and the activities of international companies participating in the world economy (see Figure 1). The end of the Cold War in the late 1980s and early 1990s decreased world political tensions, and the meteoric rise of the internet and of global communications caused an unprecedented acceleration in commercial activities outside domestic markets, increasing the variety of goods and services available in the world marketplace (Hill & Holloway, 2001).The integration of world economies has led to increasing competition in many industries (Porter, 1986). In the field of sport, globalization has added impetus to international rivalries that date in the modern era from the 1896 Olympic Games. Since that time, many sports have benefited as their international media exposure has increased from quadrennial appearances in the Olympics.
Sports such as tennis and golf have been global for decades; as have the British and colonies-based sports of cricket, rugby, squash and badminton. Equestrian, motorsport, table tennis (ping-pong), boxing, hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse have all benefited from international exposure. US sports such as basketball, American football and baseball have established footholds in foreign markets as global media has broadened their appeal beyond domestic markets. But no single sport has benefited from its global exposures as much as soccer (Giulianotti, 2002).
Since its first appearance in the 1908 Olympics, the sport has attracted increasing international attention. The first World Cup was organized in 1930 by Jules Rimet in Uruguay. Since then, soccer has consistently drawn more support worldwide than any other pastime. As globalization trends accelerated after the 1980s, increasing numbers of professional soccer clubs sought to capitalize on the sport’s global appeal, but only two clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid, emerged as global brands. Although Real Madrid has a very high global awareness and recently overtook Manchester United as the club with the highest turnover, many observers consider that Manchester United’s innovative branding and marketing strategies were at the leading edge of the contemporary trend in sport globalization.
Figure 1 illustrates the link between globalization, sport, soccer and Manchester United.The club’s pre-eminent position was noted in its 2003 annual report (p. iii): “Manchester United is one of the leading clubs in world football, with a global brand and following that embodies the passion and excitement of the world’s most popular sport.” The report reaffirmed the need to convert more of its 75 million global fans into paying customers.
In implementing its international strategy, Manchester United has been the pathfinder for many other sports and clubs seeking to establish global identities in the international marketplace.A CRITICAL REVIEW Manchester United has players from across the globe and this has, in football, removed the cultural barriers as all these players come from different cultural backgrounds all over the world and have been united by the game of football. Football is a unifying factor and can bring peace and unity to the world. Even economic and cultural ‘enemies’ can become friends in football. It is a great unifying factor and it is an instrument of unification and globalization. In addition to integrating personal and public life, the impact of television and other electronic media on the public has fundamentally altered notions of ‘here’ and ‘there’.
In this sense, the proliferation of football across different social and cultural spheres within one national state is already part of a wider globalization process. While the increasing supernatural state of the game is largely uncontroversial, the academic debates surrounding globalization are not. In a similar vein, to the historical interdependence of modern football and industrialism, the cultural globalization of football must be analyzed before the background of its social, institutional and economic framing. Over the past hundred years, various international foot-balling organizations have been formed. These are key agents of globalization.
Whereas club football has traditionally been considered the counterpart to international football competitions such as European Championships or World Cup, domestic or national leagues are becoming transnational in terms of both production (teams and players) and distribution (broadcasting).An Aspect of the globalization of football relates to the players who participate in the sport. If it were not a global product then you would expect those who take part in the sport would be predominantly from the nation in which it is played. This is not the case and as the majority of all football leagues are infiltrated with large proportions of players from foreign nations. Frontline magazine (issue 14, July 06-19, 2002) noted that in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup none of the 11 men in the Senegal team played football in their home nation. They were all based in France. Furthermore, not one of the French men who they were playing against in that match played football in their native country of France.
Instead they played in the more lucrative Spanish, Italian, English or German leagues where salaries are higher and/or taxes lower. Dobson and Goddard (2001) showed that the proportion of football players born outside of Britain and Ireland playing in English leagues rose from 2.2 per cent in 1979 to 14.4 per cent in 1999.
Sponsorship is an important part of football. Each club may have several sponsors which help pay the rising costs of being a top league football team. Sandvoss (2003) highlighted that football clubs form so called ‘strategic partnerships’ with transnational corporations who pursue their global advertising and promotional interests through such cooperation. For example, in 1993 the Japanese J-League was formed. By 2003 all 15 teams in it were owned by large Japanese corporations such as Nissan, Mazda and Toyota. Sandvoss (2003) noted that the ultimate aim of sponsorship within football is to enhance the brand image of the sponsor. One of Manchester United’s sponsor’s is Nike which in 2002 signed a deal worth over £300 million for a 13 year contract with the club. In turn, this also benefited Manchester United as it helped it reach the 130 countries that Nike operates in World Wide (Connolly 2003).
Connolly (2003) also stated that Brands improve their image with the club they sponsor.Connolly (2003) noted Manchester United’s tactics when trying to market its brand in foreign market He noticed that David Beckham helped there popularity in Asia when they embarked on a football tour there in 1999 as he felt the Asian fans tended to make their allegiances through particular player’s as oppose to team. Manchester United returned to Asia for another tour in 2005. Connolly (2005) remarked how Manchester United’s interests also look towards America as they had a 4 match pre-season tour there in 2003.
All of the matches were in high demand, for example, the match in Philadelphia against Barcelona sold out in one hour. Tickets for a Bruce Springsteen concert also went on sale at the stadium that day and failed to sell out.This type of marketing activity is not unique to the giant clubs of football. Smith (2005) remarked how in 2005 Second division side Sheffield United carried out a 3 game pre-season tour of China. The vice Chairman of Sheffield United, Terry Robinson, remarked:As a marketing tactic they took their veteran Chinese star Hao Haidong to aid the promotion of their brand.
Sandvoss (2003) felt that the key to examining the premises of global markets of football lies with the technological as well as the economic role of the modern electronic mass media, most notably television. He identified that through television, consumerism communicates its message on a global scale and thus globalises it’s vehicle, football. Sandvoss (2003) proceeded to state that television is a crucial link between the global and local dimensions of modern football fandom because of its unique ability to consume space as well as a place. Television not only reflects global structures but also acts as an agent of cultural and economic globalization. BskyB is the main contributor for the rights to show the English Premier League matches.
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