I’m a football fan, but I’m also a MSc Sport Marketing student. Quite frankly, I love both, and the business side of football fascinates me. So, in a new bi-weekly series, Life of Alicia is going to highlight some of the best (and maybe worse) football marketing campaigns, from new sponsors, sponsorship activation, and social media to name a few. With the occasional other sport thrown in the mix as well, and some agency sport marketing reports as well. So if you are interested in marketing, or football, or both, then get ready for my bi-weekly mini marketing highlights!!!
Bet that’s a team you didn’t except to ever appear on here, but you have got to give Arsenal their due, because they know how to do marketing and social media. Last week, to celebrate 16 years since Arsenals were ‘The Invincibles’ of the Premier League, their twitter profile became a place of no ‘L’ in all editable sections, ‘following’, ‘followers’ etc could not be changed. It was certainly one way to celebrate and also something that even Liverpool couldn’t do after their lose earlier this season against Watford.
Arsenal also teamed up with one of their official partners, Lavazza Group, to help engage followers and supporters through a social media competition. Using the promotion of AR experience, Lavazza took Arsenal supporters on a journey to see Arsenal players ‘live’ and in ‘real’ in their living rooms. Pretty cool huh. The whole point was to increase fan engagement, and allow for supporters to win a signed shirt.
It’s been a week for social media partnership activation. Tottenham Hotspur official shirt sponsor and partner, AIA, joined forces for a special YouTube series (although also available on all social media official accounts, including IGTV). David Beckham takes a tour of the training ground and stadium as he talks to head coach Jose Mourinho, and a few players including Harry Winks and Lucas Moura. In short videos, lasting no longer of five minutes, fangs get an insight into life at Tottenham.
Tottenham have also been active on social media as a key asset for sponsors. With official partner HP, Tottenham asked fans on Twitter to submit questions for Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes. Then through video, Bergwijn answered a series of short questions, which were also shown on Spurs’ instagram story.
Wolves hosted an exclusive partnerships webinar on Zoom, with club captain Conor Coady and fellow team mate Pedro Neto, providing Wolves official partners with an insight into their lives during lockdown and the potential return back to training under new lockdown and social distancing conditions.
Southampton FC have launched the “The Isolate Inn” brought to Southamptons Digital Membership (free) on their official website by Southampton Official Beer Sponsor, Kingfisher. In one episode, Matt Le Tissier discusses his dream pub team and reminisce’s about some incredible goals.
Leeds United hosted a ZOOM meeting, ‘Hospitality Lockdown VIP’ with Leeds legends and special guests.
The EFL hosted a Leasing.com Virtual Competition, which saw Salford City pick up the trophy, played on FIFA20. First team players from Salford and Portsmouth battled it out in the final, which brought a new experience to fans across the county and the match was shared on social media by the EFL, Sky Sports, both clubs and Leasing.com.
NEW KIT SUPPLIERS SPONSORS
The season may have not finished, nor re-started, but that doesn’t mean football clubs can’t get new kit suppliers sponsors. Rangers recently announced a new kit and retail partnership with Castore for the 2020/2021 season, which will include a new digital store, bespoke premium products, international supply to rangers fans across the globe and shirt sponsorship. The premium British sportswear brand, Castore, have stated that Rangers will be their flagship club, but will also partner with three to five other major European clubs.
In the Premier League, Everton agreed a club-record technical partnership with Hummel in a three year partnership agreement starting from the 20/21 season. Hummel will kit out the men’s, women’s, academy, coaching and community staff. This agreement allows means that Everton doubles it’s yearly fee which is believed to be worth £9.5m per season, which is up from between £4m – £5m from Umbro.
Icelandic FA have signed Puma for EURO 2020 till at least 2026, which means the Iceland national team have ended their 20 year Errea association. The deal starts on July 1, 2020, and new kits will be revealed in the middle of July.
Over in Portugal, the Primeira Liga will lose telecoms and pay-tv broadcaster NOS as it’s main title sponsor at the end of the 2020/21 season. NOS has been the sole title sponsor since the start of 2015 with the current deal said to be worth just over €6m.
OTRO have been commissioned by MTV Cribs to produce a ‘Footballers Stay Home’ including popular (and heavily followed) Premier League footballers, more notably Jesse Lingard and David Luiz. The show will air on MTV on June 1st if you want a snoop around a footballers house.
SPORT SPONSORSHIP FROM AGENCIES
Two Circles have predicted that sport sponsorship revenue will fall by 37% year on year because of the impact and result of coronavirus not just on sport but also on all businesses. Due to Covid-19, new sponsorship agreement have been put on hold, and some existing sponsorship agreements have come to an end as a cost cutting way for businesses to mitigate the circumstances of coronavirus. However, with the return of live sport and innovation being huge factors in sponsorship, sponsorship revenue should increase and thrive in the long term.
Rival IQ, a Seattle based social analytics company, has discussed the impact of Covid-19 on the social media engagement of brands. For sport teams, engagement rates are still higher than travel, retail and non-for-profit, despite no live sport or competitive matches (prior to the re-start of the Bundesliga). However, there has been some suggestion that sport organisations are struggling to stay relevant for their followers due to the absence of competitions.