Top insights for Sports Marketers from the recent football season

By Seun Johnson

Beyond the excitement on the pitch, the just concluded 2023/2024 European football season has provided valuable insights into the intersection of sports and marketing.

From the blast of whistle at the English Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley in August 11, 2023 to the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund on Saturday June 1, the season was nothing short of exhilaration.

Every weekend offered thrilling matches, unexpected upsets and unforgettable moments that captured the hearts of millions across the world.

From the marketing point of view, it was a season to remember with an unprecedented fan engagement which became a veritable tool for effective marketing.

According to Israel Ojoko, a football analyst and Sport marketer, the Premier League specifically began as three horse race among Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal untill the final day when the boys were separated from the men. He highlighted the missed opportunities on the part of the gunners who almost won the league after many years of trials without success.

Commenting on the Champions League final, Ojoko reiterated how it would have been more marketable and sellable if the final match was played between Real Madrid and either PSG, Manchester City, or Arsenal because of the respect they command in the international clubs competition. But playing Borussia Dortmund at the final affected the sales of ticket because many football fans already knew how it would end.

Also sharing his view, Babatunde Eludini revealed how experience played out in both Premier League and Champions League, citing how Real Madrid leveraged their years of experience to beat Dortmund to the title while Man City capitulated on the depth of their squad and prolific players to narrowly clinch the victory ahead of Arsenal with just 2 points.

The sport marketer however believes that any Nigerian brands that leverages the success of the two Nigerian internationals, Victor Boniface and Nathan Tella at their club, will easily connect with their audience.

The duo had a fantastic outing this season and their incredible contributions in each of the league matches they featured enabled their team, Bayern Leverkusen lift the German Bundesliga title.

On the general lessons learnt from the just concluded football season, the sport marketers identified the use of technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and data analytics to create immersive and personalized fan experiences.

In the same vein, the football season provided opportunity for brands and clubs to collaborate, expand their reach and create unique marketing strategies.

It also enabled brands to create compelling contents that resonate with fans and tell the deeper stories behind the sport.

Social media platforms were noticably deployed to amplify the season excitement which further allow brands to connect with their customers.

They also identified the surge in online merchandise sales as another takeaway from the season.

According to them, clubs introduced innovative products and exclusive drops that are often tied to significant matches or milestones. Limited-edition items, personalized jerseys, and sustainable merchandise options were said to have driven significant online traffic and sales, emphasizing the importance of e-commerce in modern sports marketing.

The 2023-2024 European football season has confirmed that the intersection of sports and marketing is more dynamic than ever with marketers capturing the excitement and passion of the beautiful game to drive engagement and loyalty for their own brands.



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