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Man Utd &#39risks brand damage&#39

Manchester United risks damaging its brand by entering the financial services sector, according to research by Corporate Edge consultancy.

The club recently launched its financial services division and Corporate Edge says this is an understandable move from a commercial viewpoint to get extra revenue from its 50 million fan base. But it warns that by making such a move the team risks diversifying too much and could compromise fans&#39 goodwill or its strong brand image.

The branding and innovation consultancy bases this

prediction on its research collected over four years as its Trend Bank, listing which well-known names are in a good position to establish themselves in the finance sector.

It says the AA, which launched an IFA earlier this year, and the Sun newspaper are better placed to succeed in financial services because of their image among their customer base.

Corporate Edge says the AA is likely to do well because it has established a reputation for financial acumen and brand values which fit with the consumer&#39s ideal, including integ-

rity, independence, national awareness and customer orientation.

It believes the reach and power of the Sun&#39s circulation and its influence would exceed any other player in the sector and create a new industry category and revenue stream.

Corporate Edge director Jonathan Hall says: “An organisation such as the Sun could build its success in this sector on its established brand, which has a strong consumer franchise among this particular target market.

“It could really shake the market up using its pages to explain and promote simple, reliable financial products and campaigning for regulatory change to support the rights

of small savers and investors in a manner far beyond the capability of the conventional suppliers.”


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