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This is our city: branding football and the myths of locality

Edensor, Timothy J. and Millington, Steve (2008) This is our city: branding football and the myths of locality. ISSN 1471-0374

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Abstract

In 2005, with a view to cultivating the loyalties of local supporters rather than attracting new support, Manchester City Football Club launched its Our City branding campaign. The campaign suggests that 'real' Mancunians support City and not local rivals like Manchester United, which it implicitly conceives of as a global, non-local, corporate entity. By building on established fan culture and the myths surrounding the local and the global, City is portrayed as 'authentic', 'cool' and rooted in a traditional 'working-class community'. Contending that football is a revealing field in which to explore contemporary formations of identity, in this article we critically explore the relationship between branding, place and identity. We describe the campaign, explore the myths with which the Our City campaign is aligned and discuss the embedded contexts that constrain the global branding of football.

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