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The Business Of Football: Arsenal Hire New Marketing Director

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You may not care. I'm not sure I care. But it's a thing, and it's the interlull.

Your guess is as good as mine
Your guess is as good as mine
Pool

One of the things I still sorta struggle to get used to with you kids these days and your modern sports fandom is the insatiable thirst for knowledge of all things club, both sporting-related and not.  Used to be, you read about your favorite teams and how they played last night, and maybe you spent a few days saying things like "WE SHOULD TOTALLY TRADE FOR THAT ONE GUY CUZ THIS GUY'S A BUM" or "DID YOU SEE THAT PLAY THAT WAS AMAZING" to your friends in the days before the next game, and that was about it.  Then, you walked home uphill in the snow in bare feet and spent the next nine hours working the fields, and ate raw turnips for dinner.

But, with the information explosion of the last 10 or so years, and with the proliferation of fantasy sports games where You Get To Be The GM, all that's changed.  Now, it's not always enough to be "just" a fan - now, to fully be a part of the Sports Team Experience, you need to know roster construction rules, optimal lineup/formation strategies, front office makeup, and how to run a business within a budget, as well as being a fan of your team.

None of this is a bad thing, necessarily; it's just that being a fan isn't quite as simple as we used to make it.  Now, there's the performance of GM's to care about, there's front office intrigue that might somehow tangentially affect the playing staff to obsess over, all that stuff.

All of which is a long way of introducing this piece, introducing Arsenal's new marketing director.  It's newsworthy for a few reasons: one, it's an interlull and it's Arsenal news; two, the new director's an internal promotion, which means he knows well what Arsenal need to do commercially; and three, the guy who left, Angus Kinnear, is the guy who got Arsenal's commercial portfolio into the 21st century, and was a key part of the branding (oh god I detest that word so much) of both the stadium and the club as it moved away from Highbury into the Emirates.

Arsenal may not yet have the marketing muscle of Manchester United, who will undoubtedly soon roll out sponsors for both the Official Applying-Paint-Stripe-On-Pitch Machine Of Old Trafford and the Official Urinal Cake Of The Carrington Training Ground Restrooms, but they're no slouch either; most of that is down to Kinnear, and hopefully Vinai Venkatesham can continue building Arsenal's commercial portfolio so it can keep pace with the Manchesters.