Retailing in the football industry
Over the past few decades, there has been huge growth and transformation in the structure and composition of the retailing market in the football industry. A narrow operation focused originally on the production of scarves has been broadened and deepened as football clubs have become global brands, football stars have acquired celebrity status, and football matches have been drawing massive crowds (both in the stadium and via broadcasters) generating commercial, economic, and social value. The rising profile of football as a popular culture has opened up new consumer markets and products, becoming more than a “game.” This chapter considers the evolution of retailing in a football context focusing on branded football products (i.e., shirts, scarves, memorabilia, merchandising). It details principal concepts of distribution and the supply chain and logistics function of football operations. This focus is extended by consideration of ownership and timing issues, value and power dynamics, and managerial risks, including obsolescence of stock, copyright infringements, and counterfeiting. We focus on most of these issues via two case studies.