Interesting news this morning that all of the bad publicity being generated against Mike Ashley and Sports Direct is harming his retail empire.

The recent protests by Newcastle fans have included direction action against Sports Direct as well as at the football ground and it is clear where Ashley’s Achilles heel is.

The recent Dispatches TV special exposed the disgraceful way Sports Direct is ran, in terms of both employees and customers, this led to an instant public statement from Mike Ashley via Newcastle United, claiming the programme was inaccurate.

However, the fan protests and especially the Dispatches programme have clearly left their mark and show just what affect bad publicity against Sports Direct can generate.

The Chief Executive of YouGov, Stephan Shakespeare, has used their specialist data analysis to see whether Sports Direct have been harmed as a result of recent negative publicity.

Writing on business website City Am, Shakespeare said;

‘Our Buzz Metric measures whether a respondent has heard something negative or positive about a brand in the past two weeks.

Following the documentary, Sports Direct’s rating has fallen to its lowest level for more than a month, at minus 13.

Mike Ashley, the company founder is also Newcastle United’s owner, which enables him to promote Sports Direct to football fans more effectively. However, the buzz score for football participants and followers is even worse, at minus 19.

But while bad publicity is an issue in itself, perhaps more serious is whether there has been cut through on matters such as value perception and purchase consideration.

The Dispatches programme investigated whether products were labelled as reduced from a price that the goods were never sold at. YouGov’s Value metric shows a decline in whether people believe the brand offers good value. The score has dropped from 15.6 to 6.4

Looking to our Purchase Consideration Metric, we see a drop from 27 in mid-April to 17 at the end of the month, following the allegations and negative headlines

It remains to be seen whether stains on Sports Direct’s reputation will end up having a long-term effect. Will consumers always be tempted by a cheap deal, or will they instead search out a brand that is more ethically conscionable?

The brand has built its success on cheap goods offering perceived value, but with doubts emerging over the legitimacy of these claims, will people look elsewhere?’

No wonder Mike Ashley is releasing statements in the name of the club, the captain and who knows next, urging fans to stop protesting and just turn up and fill the seats and smile & cheer.

The news of this harm to the Sports Direct brand will surely only encourage Newcastle fans protesting against Mike Ashley that they are definitely on the right lines.

The fact that the Sports Direct HQ was raided by police yesterday in connection with the running of Rangers, will only serve to ramp up the pressure even further.



  • geordie4567

    Keep up the good work and keep the pressure on the fat man. Hit him where it hurts, his wallet!

  • MsiDouglas

    NUFCTheMag CaulkinTheTimes Interesting piece. Never sure whether brand value equates to drop in profit but interesting nonetheless

  • Bishbosh11

    MA has changed my whole ethos on buying sports goods. I don’t buy anything owned buy him or his companies. I don’t even buy Adidas any more as I know he has a large stake in them. I bought a pair of Nike football boots recently which were £35 at SportsDirect.com but I found them for £20 elsewhere online. I urge everyone to at least try to buy elsewhere. There are good bargains to be had, even in JD Sports. It’ll hurt Mike in his most sensitive area – his pocket.

  • partworntyres

    dear mike, those scumbag geordies got your achilles heal, come to me and let me lick it better.-  yours, johnnybaby.

  • p1316_davis

    NUFCTheMag TaylorandBesty NUFC_Stats but it’s doing harm to the team that’s not what you want is it or do you want your team relegated

  • geordieminer

    It`s only CR#P he sells in his shops anyway & he only pays peanuts for it. So why should we expect anything else from any of his outlets including St James Park.

  • Wallsendstu

    I wonder if he still has that stupid smerk on his fat face.

  • @p1316_davis  Go and spend money in his shop then !

  • Deltic13

    It’s probably wind.

  • Dave_Coates

    p1316_davis NUFCTheMag TaylorandBesty NUFC_Stats Because the team were on such an outstanding run before the protests began?

  • Dave_Coates

    p1316_davis NUFCTheMag TaylorandBesty NUFC_Stats Doing nothing = continued destruction of the club. It’s Ashley who is harming the team

  • phillips88

    I tell you something, if he does still have that smirk on his fat face, I’d love to wipe it straight off, I refuse to waste my money on watching the Toon play as long as MA is still the owner. FU Mike Ashley you creep

  • Tony79

    And the fact he’s wheeling out all the big guns this week to beg us to stop our protests.

    Its working lads.  Time to escalate #Ashleyout

  • stepaylor

    it will work we just have to ramp it up, the worry is who will he sell to?

  • p1316_davis

    Dave_Coates no point in taking to you I take it you won’t be there sat and next season then

  • Dave_Coates

    p1316_davis NUFCTheMag Not while Ashley still there. He preys on blind loyalty and thrives on easy money. I won’t be treated with disdain

  • p1316_davis

    Dave_Coates NUFCTheMag good

  • p1316_davis

    Dave_Coates NUFCTheMag or better still when was the last game you attended

  • Dave_Coates

    p1316_davis NUFCTheMag Exactly. If only more would see sense and follow suit

  • Only a mug would buy from S*** Direct. I’m glad the public are finally starting to realise this.