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The Tale of Three Cities: Place branding, scalar complexity and football

Millington, Steve and Steadman, Chloe and Roberts, Gareth and Medway, Dominic (2021) The Tale of Three Cities: Place branding, scalar complexity and football. In: A Research Agenda for Place Branding. Edward Elgar. ISBN 978 1 83910 284 4

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Abstract

This chapter aims to address the relative neglect of scalar tensions between the local and global, and the glocal and grobal, within place branding literature and practice. Accordingly, the chapter more specifically explores the interconnections between place, place branding, and football branding through a longitudinal analysis of the entwined branding strategies deployed by Manchester City Football Club, the City of Manchester, and the City Football Group. We suggest football branding provides a useful context through which to reveal often-neglected concerns in place branding by drawing attention to the dynamic, entangled, and leaky boundaries between geographical scales. We demonstrate how geographical associations thwart efforts of place and football brands to go fully ‘grobal’. The chapter concludes by suggesting future research focuses on scalar tensions and interrelations in place branding.

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