University College Cork

Dissertation, 2014

An analysis of the global brand and marketing strategy of Real Madrid C.F.

For as long as I have been able to process information, I have been a huge football fan, namely of Manchester United. However, growing up during the 2000’s, Spanish giants Real Madrid had this ‘Hollywood’ aura due to lavish spending on marquee names by club president Florentino Pérez. To me, it was an anomaly that a collection of some of the world's finest players could not achieve consistent success on the pitch. However, when I delved a little deeper, it became crystal clear that these players were not just signed with on-pitch success in mind; image and name recognition were exploited to the tune of millions off the pitch and this allowed the club to flourish financially.

I wanted to address the myth that "spending equals success"; the club achieved some great success during the early years of the period in question but, in the medium- and long-term, the club was starved of success compared to what player expenditure would warrant.

Due to my interest in football, I had significant prior knowledge of the club; however, some of the pieces I read during the research process both fascinated and surprised me. In writing this dissertation, I sought to inform the reader about the culture at the club during the decade in question, before examining the innovative ways in which the club utilised emerging technologies to engage with supporters and grow their considerable fan base.

My concluding thoughts were emphatic: despite overall revenue almost doubling in five years, a commercially-focused strategy eventually led to lack of success on the pitch.

HS2007 Dissertation: First Class Honours.


See the full dissertation here.

(A quick disclaimer: Since I wrote this dissertation, Real Madrid have won, among other honours, four UEFA Champions League titles and one La Liga title. One might say that the club heeded my advice!)