The pandemic indeed brought out the deficiencies of underdeveloped countries in vital aspects. Still, it has been much more eloquent in showing football teams and their fans the poor performance they had in marketing matters and that today has put them in the market’s worst financial crisis in its history. Here are the keys to understanding the problem and the ways out to make a success story.
The sporting events that called the public to the stadiums were one of the pandemic’s great dangers. With fans locked in the house or avoiding crowds, the stadiums are empty. Although soccer is playing with relative normality, the teams are experiencing a tense financial calm. Without spectators, their income fell between 20% and 70%, depending on the degree of economic dependence they have on the tickets.
In countries with more robust football markets, the decrease was also significant but not decisive as in weaker markets. In Europe, most governments help with loans to the clubs to not enter critical states and thus are coping with the crisis. On the other hand, and in very positive aspects, teams that report profits on account of the excellent performance of digital marketing. One case is the Chelsea of England that said earnings in this field for 41 million euros. The crisis was an opportunity for them.
In Colombia, as you hear from the rest of Latin America, the crisis is more profound. They were teams financially dependent on the public on game day. The lack of options to generate resources left them in a problematic situation and showed the team presidents’ terrible management. Without government support, without an audience in the stands, and with minimal operating conditions, there is only one alternative. Change the income model, be updated with the new media and communication habits that are the latest marketing, and be creative and innovative.
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Marketing in current times should be the set of management activities that have three axes as their objective. 1. Satisfy the needs, desires, and expectations of consumers, users, or clients. 2. Create long-term, satisfying relationships. 3. Generate benefits for the company. All this is framing in the evolution from 4Ps to 4Cs and with modern communication channels.
According to my experience of several years trying to make the managers of soccer teams understand this alternative, there are five reasons why sports marketing is a failure. 1. Lack of knowledge is a two-sided problem. Managers are unaware of the essence and objective of marketing and the environments in which their teams operate. In this condition, it is impossible to be successful. 2. Difficulty, for most soccer leaders, marketing is seen as an impossible mission due to its great difficulty. Being seen as complex, executives refrain from undertaking something. 3. Fear. Marketing in modern times and due to the technological generation gap of the leaders produces fear. Human beings, when fear is blocked and generally remain immobile as a defense mechanism. 4. Conformity, team executives reduce marketing as the sale of sponsorships, sale of advertising, sale of tickets, and television rights. When they have these things, they settle and put aside other options that are generally more profitable. 5. Greed, managers believe they should receive rewards personally with part of the benefits that marketing generates for the club. Greed makes them place themselves in a more important place than the team. Desire not only becomes a crime, but it ends the authority in an organization.
Also, according to my experience, soccer teams’ critical situation could change into a success story implementing if five actions in the daily operation and that require the willingness of the organizations to change. 1. Valuing brands, football teams, from the most local to the most national, arouse love and affection among many fans. Those brands have great potential there to get closer to their followers’ hearts, enhancing the value of the brands. Studies show that from the commercial and the emotional, the fans’ response is always robust. 2. Take the environment into account; most sports leaders believe more in their business knowledge than in the possibilities that backgrounds turned into markets offer sports organizations to connect with their target audience. 3. Take advantage of sports events, especially in soccer; each game is a great event that occurs during other significant events, seasons, anniversaries, and achievements. All these opportunities must take advantage of to deepen in the business and its clients. Ignoring them is losing golden moments to generate resources. 4. Daring to innovate, team managers must put fear aside, renounce their comfort state and launch into innovation in the way followers are satisfied, creating relationships and obtaining benefits for the company. 5. Get good advice, in marketing as in critical surgeries, the important thing is to have the best professionals at your service. Also, in marketing, as in football, many talkers boast and have no experience. You have to find the middle ground of having trained professionals to plan or develop a successful marketing strategy.
In these times of social networks, digital media, and significant technological mobility, there is no doubt that digital marketing plays a leading role. Still, we must not forget that physical marketing is also in force. The best option is to combine them in what is known today as FiGital marketing. The important thing is to incorporate the marketing objectives into the 4Cs. A balanced mix will be the key to efficiency. All sports marketing operations will measure, and the results reported for evaluation and improvement. KPIs incorporated as an objective measure of action.
The overcoming of the causes and the implementation of the actions described here will determine the keys to the effectiveness of sports marketing in soccer. Some studies analyze the relationship of fans with soccer teams and their various levels of connection. Starting to implement them little by little will be a great start. To the extent that results obtained enhance the positive and thus each one creates their work model. The marketing campaign will not be a task for weeks, but neither will it be for many years. Its duration will be a period of months. The important thing will be to decide to start and not give up in the face of the difficulties that any strategy poses. To learn more about this topic or if you have a need to structure a digital marketing strategy in your sports organization, write to me at email@example.com, tell me about your project or demand, and I will surely be able to help you.