Political marketing seems largely, in practice, to being simply projecting an image of being authentic, a real person, in touch with the mood of the nation. Perhaps Gordon Brown attempted to capture this when his official spokesperson declared yesterday that: "The Prime Minister is a football fan and somebody who enjoys watching Premier League games, so he knows Mourinho has a fantastic record of success... He's made a significant contribution to British football in a short period of time and he's also one of the great characters of the game." Well it may win over the Chelsea fans who were holding a vigil of mourning outside Stamford Bridge last night;
I would doubt it will strike a chord with Raith Rovers fans however (Gordon's team). His spokesperson was quoted as saying in 2005 that Brown is "a lifelong supporter of Raith Rovers " and he is claimed to have spearheaded the management buy-out of the team after its relegation.
All part of his image as a regular guy, or just Gordon being Gordon; perhaps if there was not so much use of marketing and PR in politics we would not ask the question. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a long retired Labour MP for one of the Coventry constituencies. He was a fervent supporter of Coventry City, and regularly attended matches, but he also wanted to market himself as a part of the community by being visible. His trick was to get his agent to ring the ground during half time, in the run-up to an election, and get a call put out on the tannoy to ask William Wilson MP to contact his agent; see nothing is really new!