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Lateral thinking, social media, David Beckham, Robin Hood and business education

Big corporate brands can always turn news to their advantage.  Large marketing departments and access to the latest technology can ensure rapid turnaround, although sometimes a simple tweet can be enough.  Some of the best examples followed the recent loss of the lights at the SuperBowl (http://www.digiday.com/brands/6-brands-that-moved-fast-during-super-bowl-blackout/).

It doesn’t mean a business school can’t do the same, but sometimes it takes a bit of lateral thinking.  One of the best positive examples from recent years happened when David Beckham was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid. 

The FT ran a story setting out how Real Madrid would manage to pay the large transfer fee.  A professor was quoted from Cass Business School in London, which regularly manages to get coverage in the newspaper.  However, alongside was the less well known business school at Coventry University, which has a Centre for the International Business of Sport.

It doesn’t mean that the Coventry brand was aligned with that of David Beckham or Real Madrid, but Coventry got a lot of exposure that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.  Beckham joined Real Madrid in 2003, well before Twitter, Facebook , YouTube et al made it possible to reach a global audience with just a few key strokes.

Of course, since 2003 Beckham has spent time playing in Los Angeles, Milan and now in Paris, offering many business schools around the world, the opportunity to build their brand on the back of brand Beckham.

By contrast, Nottingham Business School might have made more of the Ridley Scott movie, Robin Hood, released in 2010. Reluctant to tie themselves to the Robin Hood story and wanting to be known for rather more, the School missed an opportunity.

The movie was released at about the same time as the UK General Election.  A short article contrasting the tax policies of the main political parties in 2010 and wealth redistribution in the middle ages would have maintained credibility, but also allowed the School to ride on the back of the movie.  No doubt Universal Pictures spent many millions of dollars promoting the film.  With good use of search engines, all those people of an age potentially interested in business education, may also have found in their search results for the film, details of Nottingham Business School.

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Executive MBA in India Friday 28th June 2013 - 11.49am
Thanks a lot for providing the information. It was really interesting to read.
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