Arsenal: Victory through harmony ||| ‘making of the modern brand’
The legend arrives through the tunnels to the roar of the adoring public, he pauses to shake hands with people he has shared moments of happiness, heartbreak and joy. He takes a look around the majestic stands, all bathed red in the colours of the club he has helped build with his own blood. He looks with happiness at all the fans with whom he shares the pain, agony and heartbreak of the trophy-less years. He takes a bow, that is the real reason for his work. A devotion to the idea of this behemoth, this colossal world brand, the world brand with a history of being right up there with the best, the only English club with a tube station named after it, the Arsenal football club. And he is and has been their longest serving manager for 22 years. He is Arsene Wenger, the architect of the Arsenal as we know it.
Lets take a look at what efforts have gone into branding the Arsenal.
In the beginning, the club was born as a working person’s team with the munition factory workers as players. Those were different days, war was always on the footing and times were tough. There are many moments though that actually go into building a successful brand.
The story of how Arsenal got their name.
They were first the Royal Arsenal, named after the name of the complex that they occupied. Then after becoming the first London club to turn professional, they changed to Woolwich Arsenal, naming the team after the stadium grounds that they occupied. Then, after a bold move to Highbury, changing their name to ‘The Arsenal’. Eventually the ‘the’ was dropped in all official documentation to give the current name of Arsenal, as we know it today. “A memorable name to market”
Then there is the story of how Arsenal made it to Highbury, their previous home ground.
In the throes of bankruptcy, due to falling attendances with the other more accessible clubs in London and falling wages of the munition workers, the club decided that it was time to move. The club chairman decided to change the whole identity of the club by moving it north of the river Thames and next to a railway station to make it easier for the fans to travel. “Getting your product closer to the consumers”
The story of competing for success.
Arsenal moved to north of the river Thames in search of grounds able to match the expectations of a world-class club. The nearby railway station meant more possibilities of attracting a larger crowd. This irked Tottenham and residents of the area, who sued but weren’t able to get the verdict.
These were early days for the Football Association of England, the Arsenal club chairman was close to the members and had influence with them. The year Arsenal moved to Highbury, Arsenal was placed sixth in the 2nd division of English football which meant they were not supposed to be promoted to the newly enlarged 1st division. At the expense of Tottenham, Arsenal won the vote to be included in the First division of English football building a rivalry that stays alive. The story was clear we are a big club and we deserve to be in the highest echelons. “Be not afraid to make enemies in pursuit of the goal”
The story of our crest: VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT
Arsenal’s last matchday programme had one of the writers mentioning this Latin quote to describe the memorable season. The club’s leadership were so impressed with the motto that within a couple of years this quote was incorporated onto the crest. This quote is now the guiding light for the club and very much like the vision statement/slogan of modern brands. This is why the club tries to be in harmony with all that is happening around it and tries to maintain the long term vision.
This guiding statement is the reason why the club legend Arsene Wenger has to leave the club. The clubs fans were not harmonious to his staying on.
Victories are required for the club to be a large club. The founding fathers of the club wanted it so. And that too with harmony, with everyone involved, the players, the team, the fans and the community at large. As Arsenal looks forward to a new era, as a fan, I hope the victories do come and they have to grow with harmony.
Arsenal crest: https://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/the-arsenal-crest