It is No Longer Enough to Score Goals – You Have to Sell Jerseys

Successful football clubs have realized that football today is a perfect mix of spectacle and business.  It is about scoring goals and marketing the club.  It is about chanting in the stadium and buying club merchandise.

It is no longer possible for a successful club to depend solely on gate takings and sponsorship and  compete at the highest level.

Gate collections are the weakest source of income because you have a very limited number of times when you play at your stadium a year.  You then go on to share the proceeds with the fixed expenses incurred every time you play.  Most clubs also play before near empty stadiums.

Sponsorship on the other hand is an uncontrollable source of income.  It depends on the economics of the day. If the economy is bad the sponsors are also rare and very choosy.

So a team that wants a sustainable income must look beyond the stadium and sponsorship.

Take Arsenal for example, their key objective is to be self sufficient.  They do not have a wealthy benefactor willing to spend on the club says Angus Kinnear head of marketing at the club.

“Our marketing is focused on driving loyalty of supporters, attracting new supporters and creating a broad range of products and services to meet our supporters needs.”  He adds

Think about the David Beckham saga.  The protracted struggle between LA Galaxy and AC Milan has little to do with football and more to do with marketing.  The longer the tag of war continues the better for the parties concerned, because Beckham drives sales of anything connected with him.  The tag of war increases the mystique around him and sells more jerseys for AC Milan.

Jose Maria Gay professor at the University of Bercelona summed it up correctly when Beckham first went to Real Madrid several years ago.  He said:  “David Beckham is the best example of the new management model in football.” “It is no longer enough to score goals; now you have to sell jerseys.”

Florentino Perez the president of Real Madrdid brought Beckham to Real Madrid for this exact purpose. He made it clear that Madrid must be a profitable team. In order to achieve that, he focused all his efforts on marketing,” explains Santiago Alvarez de Mon, professor at IESE.  That was also the wisdom behind the Galacticos at the club.  Score goals and sell jerseys. ข่าวฟุตบอล

Do you numbers:  You have 10 million fans and 4 million (less than a half) of them buying jerseys and other merchandise.  How much would you get into your coffers if you controlled this process as you should?  Would you care much about sponsorship and gate collections?

Apart from Europe most other parts of the world have not exploited other sources of income beyond sponsorship and gate collection.  That explains the poor state of the game in these parts of the world.

Basically, those clubs who have more and more stable revenue sources gain a sustainable competitive advantage over rivals and eventually survive, those who have their income and thus their destiny connected to one or a few sources are likely to have a very hard time.

Put as much effort in marketing and getting other sources of revenue as you put in scoring goals if your team is to survive, lure the best sports men and compete at the highest level.  Remember football is the only business where the cost of labor increases with improvement of your business.


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