NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UK - In a move sending shock waves through the worlds of retailing and finance, Newcastle United Football Club, a football-themed marketing subsidiary of Sports Direct International, was spun off today into the business of actual football, under a manager with top-level experience in the field.
While the inner workings of Sports Direct are notoriously shrouded in secrecy, analysts believe the football costuming of the Newcastle United promotional team had become unconvincing to the public, undermining the company's sales mission.
"No one really believed these were football players who could perform football tricks such as completing passes and scoring goals," said Penelope Pinchpenny, investment specialist at London brokerage Howe Rich Arwee. "I think the CEO finally just threw up his hands and said, we may as well try the sport itself, and see what happens."
The rebrand will be rolled out Monday evening in a true-to-life "football match" against Leicester City, an outfit that has recently pulled off a similar move with stunning success.
"It will be interesting to see how the Newcastle unit performs with sport concepts like formations and strategy and whatnot," Pinchpenny said. "If it works they may decide to staff this arm of the company with real athletes, which would be a completely new direction."