Thursday, January 18, 2007

The financial experts at Barclays have no clue about brand equity

Today Barclays Bank announced that it would be paying $300 Million for naming rights to the new Nets stadium in Brooklyn. Barclays is the bank whose exchange-traded funds business is widely regarded as a standard setter. In the Wall Street Journal today, Robert E. Diamond, Barclays's president, said the deal with the Nets will improve the brand recognition of Barclays's retail and investment-banking offerings. "We knew it was time to invest more in our brand," he said in an interview Thursday. "I don't buy the fact that branding is only for retail products."

Wow! They may be some of the smartest financial people in the world, but do not understand that staium is extremely inefficient for brand equity building. I have been involved in this twice. Once, I succeeded in preventing the purchase of rights in Boston, and then I failed to stop the naming of Reliant stadium in Houston. It is almost always an ego-trip on the part of the CEO. It is inefficient in targetting the market, and the positioning it communicates is rarely appropriate unless you are in the sports business.

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