The Premier League is back! 100 days laters and the return of football has made its way back to our television screens, and with it traditional Matchday marketing has had to change. With no football supporters cheering (or booing) in the stands, fans are at home watching as many matches as they possibly can back-to-back. Marketers at football clubs have had to change their strategies to still target fans and to keep their sponsors happy.
ASTON VILLA #PartOfThePride campaign has encouraged Aston Villa supporters to show their support for the team by sending in videos which will be displayed / have been displayed around Villa Park during their Premier League matches. The videos will also become part of the social fan mosaic as well. Aston Villa have also encouraged fans to send flags for Villa Park games.
MANCHESTER CITY have made a fly-on-the-wall documentary ‘City Restart’ for CityTV. A three part mini series focusing on City’s return to Premier League action after COVID-19. Elsewhere, Manchester City players have also taken part in CFG FIFA Challenge, which included eight clubs, professional footballers and gamers on June, 13.
NORWICH CITY FC called for supporters to get their names displayed at Carrow Road for their first home match of the restart against Southampton.
CRYSTAL PALACE have created a digital magazine, 90+7, which is primarily optimised for mobile devices. The magazine includes assess to insightful articles about the club. They have also launched a virtual Matchday for supporters as well.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR got supporters involved in N17, a new live programme which aired of the club’s official social media channels, a hour before kick off, and includes special guests. The club have also announced #SummerOfSpurs with the objective of supporters making the most out of the new normal of Premier League football over June and July; N17 is part of the initiative, but also includes Sounds of Spurs playlist, digital program, Spurs Inside, and the opportunity for supporters to create their own Matchday. Spurs Inside gives season ticket holders the chance to part of a live video fan wall during home matches.
LIVERPOOL FC have launched an official channel on LINE, a communication app in Japan, to provide exclusive content to supporters in Japan.
SOUTHAMPTON and Virgin Media have teamed up for the Virgin Media Super Saints fan wall, which will be made up of photos of Southampton supporters for the remaining home matches.
LEICESTER CITY have also encouraged supporters to play their role in the return of Premier League football. The Foxes want supporters to send in short video messages of support and goal celebrations, of which, some will be selected to be includes on the clubs social media channels and LED boards on match days.
Outside of the Premier League, AJAX released their new 2020/2021 away kit which caused a pretty storm on social media. ‘Inspired by the past. Created for the Present. To own the future’ was the slogan behind the new designed modelled by Ajax Men’s and Women’s start players. While in Germany, Borussia Dortmund have teamed up with Goal Studio, to help introduce the club to more fans in Asia.
SPONSORSHIP is huge, and although fans may not be visible in stadiums, there are plenty of new sponsorship deals, as well as lots of opportunities for sponsors to get their name out there, or for sponsors to do a good deed. Emirates FA Cup kindly removed their title sponsorship from this years trophy and final, in the name of mental health. This years FA Cup will instead be called the Heads Up FA Cup to continue spreading awareness of mental health, but especially men’s mental health. In Italy, Coca Cola has finalised the 2019/20 Coppa Italia title sponsorship and has added it it’s Serie A sponsorship rights. Atletico Madrid signs a new partnership deal with Cyber Protection company, Acronis, whom become the clubs official cyber protection partner.
Back to the Premier League, Everton have announced that Cazoo has become one of the club’s main sponsorship partners, worth a reported £10m per year, to have Cazoo on the front of first-team kits and training wear from the beginning of the 2020/21 season. Modelez, the owner of brands including Cadbury and Oreo, have become Tottenham Hotspur’s official snack partner, in which the partnership will see the business and the club collaborate on initiatives to engage with fans around the world. The first activation has seen Cadbury back ‘Hotspur Heroes’ in which Tottenham fans who have been key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic have been nominated. West Ham United have just announced a new partnership with iPro, an industry leading hydration company, as the clubs official sports hydration beverage. AFC Bournemouth have announced their new official shirt sponsor for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, as Vitality, which is an extension to their Stadium sponsorship.
Outside of the Premier League, Cambridge United have announced that Hill Group was renewed their partnership as the official back of the shirt sponsor for the team. Back of the shirt sponsors are something that Premier League teams forget about, and perhaps could be a viable asset, especially if football is going to continue being played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future?
PREVIOUS FOOTBALL MARKETING ISSUES:
FOOTBALL MARKETING #1 – Football MTV Cribs, New Shirt Sponsors and Beckham Teams up with Tottenham Hotspur
FOOTBALL MARKETING #2 – Shirts for Heroes, Wolves Fan Mosaic & Chelsea ‘Breaking Barriers’