August 9, 2016
Andy Francis

So he’s back.

Paul Pogba is back. Or as the marketing machine at Manchester United exclaimed at 59 minutes to kick-off of the traditional season opener on Sunday – #Pogback

Forget the ‘protracted transfer’ and constant stream of media speculation, that hashtag hinted to the world that this was a deal done long ago.

Skip forward 36 hours and at an hour usually reserved for burying news, a slick 30 seconds video with Pogba announced his return; emerging from the shadows, with a suitably cool sound track, sporting a Man Utd emblem shaved and coloured into the side of his head told the world he was, indeed, back.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5ROkJtFuJk[/youtube]


And then moments later – or 90 mins earlier – you had the Adidas version. Shot in the same studio, but this time with Grime star and the German sportswear brands ambassador, Stormzy delivering his usual 60 words a second rap of Pogba’s return. Again, the Club’s new signing is there….dancing in the shadows.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Jfn-U6EGzU[/youtube]


Normally when you sign a player, even the previous world’s most expensive player like Gareth Bale, football clubs issue a smiling handshake, holding of the shirt photo and a short press conference.

This was different. Whilst Pogba is without doubt talented, and could mature to the Ballon d’Or, and is exactly the energetic, box-to-box midfielder United have craved since Roy Keane, this was a move powered by marketing muscle.

Adidas are half way through a £750 million, ten-year sponsorship deal with United. Pogba is one of their Global faces. If not, THE.

United is a commercial gargantuan. More sponsor categories than any other club in the world – from Official Noodles (yes) to Official airline. And for all the criticism slung at Chief Executive, Ed Woodward over the last three years, he is a commercial man rather than a football man.

And now, United…and Adidas….have their man. The price tag is irrelevant. The most important figure is that United has retained 80% of the Frenchman’s image rights. In other words, Paul Pogba is a very good place to invest £89 million at a time when the Bank of England reduces interest rates to 0.25%.

Early figures suggest Pogba will earn United £40 million in the first year alone. Double that for Adidas. And that’s without kicking a ball. And that’s why he was announced to the world in a slick SnapChat/YouTube/Instagram generation video with Stormzy.

And that is why all the headlines of a protracted summer of negotiations are rubbish. This is a well conceived, well planned and executed marketing assault that probably started in earnest on May 27th when Jose Mourinho was announced manager of Manchester United. In fact, I would put a pound on the fact that it started last Christmas.

So, Man United fans – one of which I am – get their man. But so do the money men in and around the Club.

Welcome #Pogback


Tags: blog, mufc, pogback, pogo, Sport,

1 Comment. Leave new

Manchester United have been very slow when it comes to production of video content over the years. Even with MU TV the production values were very low and didn’t capture the audience that such a global brand deserves.

This is a massive leap forward for them and will only help the progression of the brand. As a MUFC fan and videographer this was a massive jump from where they were. Turn around times are fast and production values are high. Pogba has been bought because of his talent, but mainly because he is the next big marketing tool in the football world. Even player such as Messi or Neymar will not have the reach of this young talent.

What a great story. Let’s see where it goes.


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