Can Chelsea return help Mourinho mend damaged image?
Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea is a chance for him to reverse some of the damage inflicted on his brand by an unsuccessful and controversy-plagued stint at Real Madrid, according to marketing research firm REPUCOM.
The Portuguese manager quit Real, where he alienated a significant section of the fans, three years before the end of his contract following a season without major silverware and will begin a second term at the English Premier League club where he says he feels loved.
Even six years after he left Chelsea under a cloud in 2007, Mourinho's appeal is 40 percent higher in England than in Spain, according to a study by REPUCOM published on Wednesday.
His endorsements carry 20 percent more weight and he has 17 percent higher trust, the study showed.
"Mourinho was an incredibly successful commercial brand in the U.K. in his first stint with Chelsea," said Charlie Dundas, the firm's managing director for U.K. and Ireland.
"In 2005, working with Chelsea FC and his talent agents CAA, he signed deals with Braun, American Express, Samsung and Adidas," Dundas added.
"He capitalised on the perfect storm of winning trophies, press adulation and the admiration of the public.
Image: Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters
Mourinho's list of controversies at Real is long
"The latter stage of his time at Real Madrid has not been so commercially successful for the Mourinho brand and advertisers such as Ikea have even used lookalikes to poke fun at him on TV.
"His return to Chelsea is an opportunity both for Mourinho to rebuild his personal brand equity and for the companies who will partner with him.
"If he can repeat the success he brought to Stamford Bridge during his first spell, he might indeed prove the Special One not only in the dugout, but across TV screens and billboards across the planet."
The list of controversial incidents during Mourinho's three years at Real is long.
They include sneaking up behind Tito Vilanova, then assistant Barca coach, during a brawl and poking a finger in his eye, repeated complaints about refereeing bias, ugly clashes with journalists and Real officials and dark hints that Barca got favourable treatment from governing body UEFA.
In one of his last appearances at the Bernabeu, Mourinho was sent from the bench during the second half of last month's King's Cup final for furiously berating the referee.He did not appear after the match, which Real lost 2-1 to city rivals Atletico Madrid, to collect his loser's award from the Spanish monarch.
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Ral Madrid picks up the ball at the feet of Real manager Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images