Leaders “dinosaurs” in a massive technological world must produce income with innovation and cannot do so. The reasons: ignorance of marketing, fear of creation, and the vice of waiting for personal compensation for corporate income.
In all areas of sport, people talk about sports marketing with the property as if each person were an expert. At the end of the talk with any Colombian soccer leader, it is clear that ignorance is profound and marks the beginning of the severe crisis experienced by professional soccer in Colombia.
What is sports marketing? Some believe it is to generate income by selling brands on the shirt. That is selling sponsorships. Others say it is charging for commercial messages around the field or stadium. That is advertising revenue. Some define it as the money that arrives by radio and TV. These are transmission rights. Others describe it as the sale of tickets, passes, and benefits at the stadium. These are tickets and hospitality. Sports marketing is more than all of the above. It goes beyond since the highest income does not come from the aspects mentioned above but from the other activities that can be developed having the fan as the center or axis.
Let’s start by looking for a simple but complete definition of sports marketing. I identify myself with what Alcaide said (2013): sports marketing is the set of management activities that have the purpose of satisfying the needs, desires, and expectations of the fans, creating good long-term relationships with them, and generating profits for the club.
We could summarize sports marketing as a business philosophy focused on the fan’s concentrate on value and satisfaction. The team must identify the needs of the target markets, design and develop adjusted offers, transmit them, and bring them closer to your market (Monferrer, 2013).
Suppose we contrast the definitions of marketing with what our leaders think. In that case, we begin to see that there are determining conceptual deficiencies in Colombia’s badly called sports marketing. We begin to understand the cause of the crisis. The teams are dedicated to living on basic incomes that confuse with marketing. Let’s now see the reality of soccer in Colombia from the eyes of the fans. Let’s start with the vision of soccer.
I said at the beginning that these were times of massive technological advances and here we see the current habits of people of all ages about this issue.
Finally, the behavioral aspects of people in Colombia are attached to the above factors and habits, which are decisive when launching innovative sports marketing campaigns.
There is an essential fact in terms of consumption habits: a study shows that a fan is willing to spend 150 dollars per semester without including the cost of going to a match. It means that every year every fan would pay 300 dollars (Dinero.com).
Additionally, to close the current scenario, it is worth calling attention to two possible errors in Colombian soccer marketing. First, Colombia’s few sports marketing initiatives are aimed at 30% of the fans who go to the stadium, and the clubs ignore 70% who do not attend the stadiums and live soccer for TV. Then someone will say that the Premium Channel is a success. Here the second error would appear since the Premium Channel will be broadcast only by cable operators, preventing reaching non-cable subscriber audiences. Consider the following data: 19.3% of young people in Colombia replaced television with an internet subscription. 16.7% of young people watch television by other means. (CRC). If we look at it under the penetration of television formats, we find: cable penetration in Colombia is 85%. (Ibope). The penetration of “TV Everywhere” in Colombia is 90%. (IMS Marketing).
Once the diagnosis of the current situation is made, let’s look at the solutions. To show in a practical way how all the fundamentals mentioned above are applied as an environment of sports marketing, I will say a concrete example for the generation of resources from the technological and with innovation using the new media or social networks. This is my final master’s project done in 2019.
It is a plan that allows a team like @MillosFCoficial to generate 50 million dollars in 3 years with the implementation of a 5-component marketing strategy: • strengthen the passion of the fan, • maintain an emotional relationship with the fan, • customize the transmission of soccer, • loyalty with fans benefits, • run an E-Sports program. The five components only require 200 thousand fans per year, 10 thousand weekly viewers, and an initial investment of 50 thousand dollars. The return on investment would be 100,000%. If we consider that Conmebol quantifies the fans of millionarios.com.co at 9.1 million worldwide or an own investigation that threw 4.8 million fans in Colombia. The goal of generating 50 million dollars in 3 years would only require 2.19% of the fans in the world or 4.10% of the fans in Colombia.
To put these figures in context, let’s see what is equal to the sum. According to the media, Dimayor sold, for ten years, the rights of the international retransmission of Colombian soccer (of the 36 professional teams). With this comparison, we see that Colombian leaders are unaware of the effectiveness of well-done marketing aligned with the framework given by the theoretical, soccer, technological and behavioral elements outlined above.
In conclusion, a marketing plan for a team like millionarios.com.co can generate 50 million dollars in three years, equivalent to the monetary prizes of winning the Copa Libertadores 3 times in a row. We can also conclude that selling the international television rights of the 36 Colombian soccer teams for 50 million dollars for ten years is an undervaluation of the economic power of soccer.
Who wonders if a plan like this was made known to the leaders of @millosFCoficial? The answer is yes and Amber Capital. In both cases, they did not even consider it. They could be understood as the disbelief from ignoring the great marketing possibilities, such as that of the largest club in Colombia.
Soccer teams worldwide are great brands. Numerous people follow them showing feelings, loyalty, and unconditionality, and will not stop because of a defeat in a match or championship. That loyalty is a privilege enjoyed by teams as brands since if they were brands of other types of companies, the dedication of their consumers would be more volatile. During the controversy, Colombian soccer experiencing that income at a professional level does not have to do with greatness as a sport or spectacle but with the innovative way that teams have to meet the emotional needs of their fans. It is not appropriate to compare European leagues with the local ones. Each one is a model of the passions of millions of people who are possible subjects of loyalty. It is a matter of affection or love rather than a business.
It remains the question why is the power of a brand wasted so much or why they are only exploited on game day and left still for the other six days of the week? That only happens in Colombia, and that’s why the crisis deepens. Who wakes up from that lethargy can take the first victorious steps. I have no doubt. To learn more about sports marketing or the elaborated plan I quote in this blog, or if you plan to execute a sports marketing plan, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tell me your project or need, and I can surely help you.