When Two Brands Collide

Nike and Apple have been collaborating for some time now on the Nike+iPod and, at a marketing level, it works because it’s a union of equals. They are both giant brands and they make each other look good.

One of the many problems that the now-departed David Moyes faced was that being manager of Manchester United made him look good but he didn’t add much brand value to Manchester United: a big-brand football club managed by a mid-table manager; a prize-winning club managed by a trophy-less manager. A manager in awe of the Manchester United brand, not an equal partner.

It seems to have been the case that all the big brands in the dressing room weren’t crazy about their new brand partner either - perhaps they felt devalued by the association. Perhaps they felt the same about the arrival of Marouane Fellaini.

So, even for reasons that have nothing to do with football or internal politics, David Moyes and Manchester United were always going to struggle together.

Brian O'Driscoll and the Lions

Warren Gatland has made a highly controversial decision in dropping Brian O'Driscoll for the final Lions Test in Australia. Of particular interest to marketers will be the contention that he used his head rather than his heart in making the decision and that he has never been swayed by sentimentality. Contemporary thinking would suggest that this makes him a weaker judge, rather than a stronger one.

Perhaps a game as physical as rugby is required to pretend that it is devoid of emotion and, yet, players speak of passion and spirit and heart as vital components of the game.

To my mind, Gatland has made a deeply emotional decision motivated by a wish to wound the country that sacked him in 2001 and a profoundly political decision to replace him with someone from the country that currently employs him.

Therein lies the complexity of human decision-making - often bewildering and contradictory, but never devoid of emotion or sentiment.