Direct Marketing – The Successful Way to Market Football

There is no way you can appeal to a fan of an opposing club. It is therefore a complete waste of time to market football in the old generic fashion. In the old generic marketing fashion the target market can be any one. In generic marketing you focus on people’s ability to pay and also satisfying their needs and wants. You can have a customer today and the following day the customer crosses the road to your competitor, who offers a better deal. Each business tries to cannibalise the other. In football the situation is completely different. Your target market crosses a very high spectrum of people from the wealthiest to the poorest. This cross spectrum of people has one thing in common, the love for their club. It is these people that you should focus on to the complete exclusion of all the rest. This is the foundation of direct marketing in football.

In every society there are thousands of eager football fans. These fans are often detached from their clubs, because favouring a club is a love relationship. A love relationship only grows if it is nurtured and grown. Both parties must care for each other. If one side ignores the other, the ignored party finds solace somewhere else without actually going over to a direct competitor that would be a football club.

Football clubs do not seem to realize this and many completely do nothing about it, others carry out lukewarm marketing campaigns. That is why more often than not many clubs can not pay their bills; many run at a loss and play before empty stadiums. They do not understand the fans, let alone know who these fans are.

This is when direct marketing comes in to the rescue. It requires that a club gets a database of its fans and prospective fans. When this is handy, you then utilize it in creating a lasting relationship between the club and the fans. This lasting relationship will be characterised by giving and getting from both sides. As a club you have to avoid the temptation of operating like other businesses where the relationship is about selling as opposed to engaging with fans (read customers). It is never successful in football.

For clubs to succeed they have to know their fans, register these fans in a database, be very creative in reaching out to them and engage them on a one to one basis. When this happens you create a strong bond between the fan and the football club. Your fan will not fill used. The fan will be very responsive to everything you offer. The club will win and no money will be left on the table like what is happening now. This is direct marketing and the only way football clubs can win. It is different from what many other businesses do their marketing.

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