How clubs are responding to the ‘Omnichannel’ Fan

The topic of the ‘omnichannel’ fan – hungry for 24/7 content, on TV, on the web and increasingly, via mobile – continues to capture our attention. We took the opportunity, earlier this week, to have an animated debate with a range of football clubs about the subject.

In the inspiring setting of The Gherkin, we discussed the importance of the online relationship that clubs have with their fans; what makes a great online experience and how this helps to build loyalty, enhance a club’s brand and drive commercial opportunities. Everyone agreed with the view recounted from last month’s Leaders in Sport event – ignore digital channels at your peril and make sure you’re monetising them. But there was also a recognition that clubs were at different stages on the road towards enhancing the online journey for their fans.

We were fortunate to have Scott McLeod from Everton Football Club share his experiences and insights into the significant strides they’ve taken in making it simple for supporters to engage and purchase with the club online. This, he reported, is helping to change purchasing habits of existing fans whilst also enabling them to engage with new ones.  Online engagement is at the heart of Everton’s ongoing digital strategy, which has been spearheaded by the success of the official club app. This is exciting because the app provides fans with the opportunity to purchase tickets more quickly and easily than ever before, with our TALENT Sport commerce platform integrated within the native app. All this work by Everton has resulted in the club winning an award at the Football Business Awards (read more here) as well as being voted number one by the fans in the Premier League’s annual fan survey for ease of purchasing tickets online (read more here).

Kurt Pittman from Brentford Football Club also shared his experiences about encouraging fans to move online and the importance of using data to provide a personalised experience for supporters. In fact, the focus on delivering a customised, tailored journey was a major theme throughout the event. Everyone agreed that using data about the fan in the right way helps to deepen the intimacy of the relationship. Clubs can use previous purchasing behaviours and profile information to better understand fans’ preferences – this insight can then be used to create a better, more relevant experience but also to unlock the value of the individual supporter from a commercial perspective.

Prior to holding the event, we had debated the role that the retail industry plays in informing the sports organisations how to deliver a great online experience. Tina Spooner from IMRG – the online e-retail industry body – attended the event to provide this insight, looking at trends around shoppers in the retail space. She shared how game-changers for online shoppers have been mobile, personalisation and maximising international opportunities. It was interesting to hear how consumers have shifted from shopping online to find better value, to a situation where convenience has become the key motivation. It’s clear that retailers are working hard to keep up with customer demands as they embrace mobile and how they endeavour to make it as easy for shoppers as possible to have choice and convenience. Tina shared that recent research carried out by them shows how retailers are struggling to find the right balance between engaging with consumers in a personalised way but without over-stepping the line and making it feel too ‘spooky’.

This latter point sparked off great debate; the clubs around the table all agreed that, for sports fans, it just can’t get too personal. In fact, the feeling was that this becomes a badge of honour based on their support of the club; it demonstrates that the club knows exactly how deep their loyalty lies. The role of fan data and being able to use this data in the right way to profile fans and, subsequently, engage more effectively with them, was clear. Clubs shared several examples of this, such as targeted communications with tailored videos full of relevant sporting memories to the individual supporter which helped to increase season ticket sales. Tina acknowledged that most retail brands would die to have the level of engagement and loyalty that football fans offers.

There was also a reality check where clubs intimated that, on the whole, they simply do not have the same budget as retailers and, therefore, can’t always deliver exactly the same experience online. Choice and convenience are still at the forefront of their minds when delivering a great experience, and making sure that the basic benefits are in place is fundamental. For example, fans do expect to be able to purchase a ticket easily, quickly and seamlessly, from any device – and within as few clicks as possible.

Given the retail shopper and the football fan is – in many cases – the same person, there were conversations as to why the consumer is happy to purchase online yet the football fan is often steeped in tribal traditions. There was an acknowledgement that in some cases, driving fans online required a forced change in behaviour to encourage fans to purchase online.  However, there was agreement that you still need to make the experience as rewarding as possible; prioritising relevant content for particular audiences, so the customer journey is personalised and the ‘virtual store’ is polished and clean, as well as some of the basics outlined above.

For us, we’re more certain than ever that exploiting the value of fan data in the right way helps to enhance loyalty by delivering a satisfying customer experience. Enriched data means more personalisation and opportunity for increased yield, as well as delivering enhanced commercial value to sponsors. But it was also evident that the core technology commerce platform still needs to deliver the goods when a fan is purchasing online – a few of the words used to describe this was quick, simple, and efficient – fans don’t want big bottlenecks which disappoint and means clubs have to work very hard to draw fans back online.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking closer at how sports clubs are finding innovative ways to create compelling online experiences and, more importantly, using online data to develop the services of the future.

We’d like to hear from you; what are your biggest challenges when engaging fans online?

Mark Dewell

Managing Director - Advanced Ticketing

 

For all news and stories see our Advanced Ticketing news site or follow us on Twitter: @Adv_TALENTSport and @MarkDewellADV

Managing the Social Media Voice of your Football Club

In order for a football club to establish a direct and engaging relationship with its fan base it must develop a strong and consistent voice across its various digital and social media channels.

Having an original and genuine voice can prove to be a challenge as it is not always easy to speak to fans in a conversational tone.  If managed correctly, however, it can uplift the presence of a mediocre club to become an industry leader.

Some important guidelines to remember when establishing your club’s social media voice include:

A.      Determining your football club’s own brand identity

This will be based on the organization´s culture, values, and overall brand experience it would like to promote.

For example, more traditional clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United or Real Madrid will tend to communicate throughout their social media platforms in a more formal manner as they consistently strive to transmit the image of class, excellence and tradition.

On the other hand, less classic and long established clubs such as most Major League Soccer’s franchises will favour a more personable communication approach in an effort to consistently generate buzz and engagement in less mature football markets.

 

B.      Knowing your football club’s audience

Knowing the desired demographic that your brand wants to reach will help your club understand its target audience and the relevant social media channels to use to reach out to followers and potential consumers.

Although it is important to remain consistent throughout your social and digital media presence, it is also imperative to adapt your approach to the relevant audience you are targeting through each platform.

For example, the style of writing in a football club’s official website should be different than the voice and tone used across other social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  Each platform has a different set of followers and must be targeted accordingly.

 

C.      Engaging and interacting with your community 

Whether the objective is to inform, sell, or provide customer support, it is essential to know how to communicate your football club’s objectives with personality and sincerity.

Listening to the needs, thoughts, opinions and insights of your audience will help your brand achieve the corporate objectives and remain authentic via social and digital media platforms.

Because of their massive size and social relevance most top-flight clubs will tend not to answer directly to followers on social media mainly due to a question of volume and risk management.

Nevertheless, when communicating with your online community of fans and supporters worldwide it is essential to remember that in order to generate true engagement social media platforms should be used like a telephone and not like a megaphone.

photo-6The Sports Business Institute Barcelona offers a two-month program entitled ¨Football Communication & Social Media Online Program¨ that provides practical training to those wanting to start or advance their career in the areas of communication, PR, sports journalism, online branding and social media management for the football industry. 

For more information visit: http://bit.ly/111jVD9

To read the full course prospectus click here: http://bit.ly/1sGqhiy

Financial Fair Play is incompatible with business

Gary Tipper_PalatineGary Tipper, managing partner at Palatine Private Equity, discusses the business of football, and how the new Financial Fair Play rules are incompatible.

 

 

 

Almost every business in every sector is built upon the idea of competitive advantage. Firms will do whatever it takes to find a gap in the market, including accepting losses for the first few years. Sadly, it seems that one of the UK’s most lucrative industries, and one Manchester is particularly good at, seems not to agree.

I am, of course, talking about football. Having seen Manchester City spend and lose millions over the first few years after being taken over by Sheikh Mansour, UEFA decided to solve a problem that never existed by creating the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. As a hardened City fan, the words Financial Fair Play are enough to make my blood boil, especially when considering the fair aspect.

Before the regulations were announced, I think most football fans thought the idea of FFP was to make sure clubs were not taken over by disreputable owners. The likes of Leeds and Portsmouth have experienced this in recent years, with mis-management leaving the clubs debt-ridden and ultimately heading for administration. No one wants to see this happen again, as in the end it is the fans that really suffer.

However, what UEFA have come up with is a system that effectively means that the clubs with the largest turnovers are the ones that can spend big in the transfer market, protecting the old order of European football. No other industry in the world blocks new money being invested in it, which is essentially what UEFA is effectively doing to European football. Whether fans like it or not football is now a huge global industry and should be dictated by market forces not by an industry body trying to protect the old order.

Imagine if this sort of protectionism had happened in the technology sector, which in the 1960s and 1970s was dominated by the big hardware players like IBM. Had rules stopping businesses losing money been in place, companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook would not exist. Each of these household names lost millions if not billions in their development years, enabling them to become the large organisations that ultimately transformed an industry and broke up the old monopolies that existed.

Why should football be different? If money hadn’t come into the likes of City, Chelsea, PSG and others, European football would be an oligopoly for the foreseeable future – making it incompatible with business.

Here football can learn a few lessons from business. Instead of the current rules, make any new owner put up to two years running costs in a blocked account that is used if they decide to remove their support, ensuring clubs avoid administration. This would also have the effect of keeping away the buyers without any real financial substance.

When looking at sustainability, it is also important for the rules to focus on debt levels. In the past too much debt has led to the downfall of many clubs, but under FFP, it is currently seen as acceptable for United to have £500m of debt and Real €600m of debt while City are punished despite being debt free. The £50m fine handed to the Blues is another clear example of the real aim of FFP – further establishing the status quo.

As a global industry, the rules governing football should be along the lines of the rules that govern businesses. With the current rules being incompatible, they should be challenged as I think it is best for business. Manchester has had a great footballing history and with the emergence of City in the last five years should have an even better future, dictated not by UEFA, but by market forces

Why Sport is Better With Cheerleaders

Showbiz, Fan Engagement & Social Media

by Jessica Zoo – director of CHEER PRO™

When we look over at our american cousins across the pond, we cannot help but admire their pioneering business sense when it comes to the sports industry. What’s the secret of their success? They understand that even though the talent of the team comes from the players and coaching staff, the heart belongs to the fans. Without fans, there would be no ticket sales, no TV advertising and no sponsorship deals, and as a consequence no sport to play. The business of sport entirely depends on having a following and works as a cycle: more fans means more tickets, larger sponsorship value and as a consequence bigger budgets to draft better players, hire talented coaching staff and set up junior schemes to develop talent from an early age.

The USA are masters at understanding this – and they know that for bigger fan engagement they don’t just need to appeal to the die-hard fan, but also to his brother, his wife, his sister, his children (and sometimes pets!) – this way, the love for the team becomes embedded as part of a family tradition, and everyone finds a way to get involved in the fan fun.

Showbiz and ancillary team products (not just merchandise) have developed to be a key aspect in fan engagement both on and off the field. As we have moved towards an age dominated by digital communication, the experience of being ‘part’ of the team extends far beyond wearing the Tshirt and switching on the telly. You can now follow and even interact with the players, coaches and management staff via Twitter, Facebook and every other gizmo that’s trending that month.

Andy Burrows Music Vieo ZF

Your question may be – “I thought I was reading an article about Cheerleaders?” You are, and it ties in fully with the scenario we have set above. The UK and Europe have become more influenced by the American style of entertainment and marketing in sports in the recent 5 years, simply because what was reserved to American fans has now been made available to the entire world through digital means. And the fans like it.

Cheerleading CricketYou may think “What’s some pompom shaking got to do with it?”. There are two versions of this answer. Firstly. if you hire a group of dancers who throw on a ra-ra skirt to jiggle pompoms of the football field, it won’t do very much at all. It will even raise eyebrows and have fans scratching their heads not understanding the correlation between football and cheerleaders. Done correctly, with a marketing and crowd engagement strategy in mind, it can do a lot, lot more: they become part of your brand, and the values that it stands for.

Let’s take the Miami Dolphins as an example. Their cheerleaders are gorgeous, talented, look friendly and approachable. Did I mention that their “Call Me Maybe” cover has over 20 million hits on Youtube? Or that their Facebook page has over 200,000 page likes and 32k followers on Twitter? That is an exact additional 10% online engagement for the football club overall. That is 10% more interaction, potential sales and sponsorship value which is nothing to turn your nose up to.

Everyone knows the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders – they are the epitome of Cheerleading royalty and they set the standards of professional cheerleading since the 1970s : every cheerleading team aspires to be like them (and some manage better than others). Americans do it best, so what is it exactly about these american Sirens that make them so superior to the standards we’ve seen in the UK/ EU?

Firstly, it is essential to understand that there are three worlds of cheerleading. Yes, you read correctly: THREE.

Professional Cheerleaders - those that belong to a professional sports team, and mostly perform pro cheer dance style

Varsity Cheerleaders - cheerleaders belonging to an educational institution such as college or high school, performing mostly sideline entertainment including acrobatics and can also be competitive teams in national and international cheerleading championships

Allstar Cheerleaders - Cheerleaders who’s sole purpose is to push their skills for competition, and belong to an independent gym. This type is more associated to gymnastics that cheerleading itself: you will not find any pompoms or chants here! Expect most of these routines to be spent in the air rather than on the ground. This is an entirely fascinating concept of it’s own, and emerging as a sport in it’s own right

In America, those belonging to the first group (Professional Cheerleading) have all spent many years learning their skills rigorously by taking part in either Varsity and Allstar cheerleading. When you combine that experience with exceptional dance skills, experienced coaching, marketing know-how and decent dancer fees, you get the magic of NFL cheerleaders. It requires a very specific type of expertise to understand the subtleties that give that wow factor/girl next door look and that make the cheerleaders appealing both to a male and family audience.

In the UK, the cheerleading community has been somewhat segregated (we’re almost talking about separate changing rooms for cheerleaders with pompoms and those without). For the most part, this country’s competitive cheerleaders (you may be surprised that to date there are over 60,000) – do not wish to delve into the world of professional cheerleading because it has been regarded as subsidiary activity left to dancers with limited or no cheerleading background.

Lately, however,  a number of UK sports teams have shown that introducing cheerleaders managed with a marketing know-how, has been a very successful tactic to attract more fans and increase engagement on and offline (with some having more success than others). The key into making a cheerleading team successful requires 5 main steps:

  • Highly skilled professional dancers with a background in cheerleading or enough technical cheerleading training
  • An overall look and style that is both appealing to a male-oriented audience but equally family-friendly in order to engage
  • A budget decent enough to secure professionally trained dancers
  • Management of the cheerleaders with a good understanding of marketing and digital communications
  • Coaches and choreographers with a strong background in cheerleading (not just dance)

If this is something that you may have struggled with in the past or require external help, CHEER PRO™ might just be the solution you have been looking for . Aside from providing cheerleaders for hire for specific events (with our flagship team Zoo Fever cheerleaders being crowned 2014 National Grand Champions at the British Cheerleading Association, competing against 75 other teams), our team of professional cheerleading and digital marketing experts can help you set up your team using local talent, but managed by our expert coaches through a number of different services.

We select, audition, train and manage the cheerleaders for your club until they are ready to pass their Certificate of Professional Achievement in professional cheerleading (the first qualification of it’s kind). We also set up cheerleading classes for all ages (children and adults) with Cheerobics® fitness classes taught by the club’s cheerleaders so that everyone can get involved in the team’s spirit. We work in a number of flexible ways depending on your budgets and your requirements, but the result is guaranteed to provide you with an exceptional team of cheerleaders to suit your team’s marketing and fan engagement objectives.

To find out more how we can make your sport better with cheerleaders, visit www.cheerpro.net

(Interview and live performance on BT Sports with Jessica Zoo and Zoo Fever London Cheerleaders’ CHEER PRO team – after their 2014 Grand National Championship Win)

Cheer Pro Logo FilmAbout Jessica Zoo

Jessica Zoo OffiicialJessica Zoo, the creator of the Cheerobics® brand and co-director of Social Media Mentors started her cheerleading dance career at the age of 18 when she was the captain of Royal Holloway University Cheerleaders, and had a strong attraction towards commercial, or ‘PRO’ style cheerleading – her coaching and choreography skills have allowed her London Zoo Fever  Cheerleaders to be crowned 2014 Grand Champions at the BCA Nationals.  In 2011 she launched the Cheerobics® brand, which offers cheerleading fitness classes, apparel and instructor training programmes worldwide and now has over 200 instructors in Europe, the US and Asia.

With over 10 years experience in cheerleading, media production, digital marketing and event management – Jessica has fused her combined valuable knowledge into CHEER PRO™: creating and managing top class teams with a strong focus on the marketing objectives, as well as an innovative system of training & choreography.

Website: www.cheerpro.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cheerprocheerleaders

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CHEERPRO_Teams

Labour’s Proposals For Fan Ownership – Are They Credible?

The Labour Party’s commitment to legislate for partial fan ownership published today by Clive Efford, Shadow Sport Minister, is admirable for its intent but worryingly short on detail says Mike Dyer, Director of Portsmouth law firm Verisona Law .

Dyer said that “there is a tendency to think of Football Clubs as being somehow different from any other business organisation.” In many respects, perhaps they are, but the underlying fact is that they are companies and as such bound by Company Law in the UK.

The proposals do not seem to address the fact that fundamental changes would be required to the Companies Act 2006 surrounding (in particular) Shareholder rights.

For example, the proposed right for a Supporters Trust to appoint and remove Directors whilst only being a 10% Shareholder represents a significant departure from the present legal position.  As the law currently stands, a Shareholder with only 10% of issued shares would not have such a right unless there is a Shareholders Agreement in place (a document setting out various terms between Shareholders and regulating the voting rights on certain issues).

Without such an Agreement, a 10% Shareholder will be unable to pass the necessary resolutions to give effect to this “right” without new Company Law legislation.

I sincerely hope this proposal is not just a poorly considered populist vote catcher – but if it is to be treated as credible then significant further detail of the proposal is needed.

Mike Dyer

Director, Verisona Law

Clubs must act now for future commercial success

Introduction:

Laura Miller, the Managing Director of Miller Sports Consultancy, writes exclusively for FC Business about how football clubs need to be active in the autumn if they are to avoid being dragged into an end-of-season commercial dogfight.

For more information about Miller Sports Consultancy and its services for football clubs and brands, visit http://www.millersportsconsultancy.co.uk, email info@millersportsconsultancy.co.uk or call 01482 644414.

Article:

It is around this time of the year, when the days get shorter and the league tables begin to take shape, that football clubs across the country may be tempted to start focusing all of their commercial efforts on the festive season.

I appreciate this. Before establishing Miller Sports Consultancy, I was the Head of Commercial at Doncaster Rovers, and I know it is a challenge at this stage of the season to look at anything beyond the pressing, immediate opportunities of the current campaign. After all, the fans rarely do!

However, when the autumn leaves hit the ground, clubs really should be thinking, looking and more importantly talking about their commercial plans for the following season.

‘Too early,’ I hear you say. ‘What if we end up being promoted into a higher division with better attendances, more TV coverage, more exposure and more lucrative potential partnerships?’

But, crucially, you must ask yourselves: ‘What if we don’t?’

Delaying talks with potential sponsors for next season until the closing weeks of the campaign in the hope that you might be in a better negotiating position is NOT a sensible approach.

We have seen several clubs stung by this strategy in recent years.

At Soccerex last month in Manchester, there was a story doing the rounds about how a club that was pushed right to the wire to find a shirt sponsor for the new season ended up chopping its asking price in half before signing a last-minute deal that was negotiated in only 72 hours.

This isn’t uncommon. Brands know that clubs are in a weaker negotiating position if they are squeezed for time.

Maybe the club needs to find a sponsor for its new shirt, which must roll off the production line in a matter of weeks to catch the summer market. Maybe the club simply needs to guarantee income to fund signings before the end of the summer transfer window.

In any case, the market’s unwritten rule is that the longer you leave your search for a partner or partners, the more you can be squeezed in negotiations and end up with a brand that isn’t quite right.

Smart brands will consider a number of options – in terms of clubs as well as packages – before deciding on the right choice. Playing a waiting game, just because you think you might be in a better bartering position in a few months’ time, is therefore simply not worth the risk.

Every April, May and June we field dozens of calls from clubs who need to urgently sell shirt sponsorship rights or other packages ahead of the new season. However, by that time of year the pool of potential commercial partners has shrunk from what it was in the autumn.

We tell clubs every year that this scenario is entirely avoidable – but they need to start acting NOW, giving themselves plenty of time to find the right partner, negotiate a good deal for both parties and plan ahead for activation.

We’re not talking about jumping into bed straight away with the first company that expresses an interest, as that is unlikely to lead to a happy long-term marriage.

Moreover, there is nothing more off-putting for a brand than to be interrogated only about what it can do for the club.

So it is about finding the right fit. Both parties need to find out what they can do for each other – financially and in terms of value-in-kind benefits – and a company that shares a club’s values and ambitions will enable the value of the partnership to be maximised for everyone involved.

At Miller Sports Consultancy, our client base has more than doubled in the last year, and we now work with numerous clubs and brands that are ready to invest in the game. We have sourced major deals for our football club clients, and we could find the right partner for your club too.

If you kick things off before the winter really kicks in, you will be giving yourself the best possible chance of future commercial success beyond the 2014-15 season.

However, responsible clubs must act quickly before that pool of potential partners begins to dry up come the springtime.

For more information about Miller Sports Consultancy and its services for football clubs and brands, visit http://www.millersportsconsultancy.co.uk, email info@millersportsconsultancy.co.uk or call 01482 644414.

Loyalty & Rewards – A Bright Idea For Sports

Loyalty and rewards are among a handful of buzz words on top of the sports marketers agenda right now. In our experience, loyalty has become the attractive front end of a CRM project.

One that’s showing some decent results. (Read our blog on loyalty becoming the sexy side of CRM here).

In other sectors, loyalty has become a proven concept. Fact. And it’s got the backing of marketing teams, with 65% of marketers saying that loyalty programme investments are essential. It’s easy to see why they say this, with customer spending shown to be 46% higher with companies that have a loyalty programme in place and the average person belonging to 7.4 different schemes.

People love collecting points and they want some reciprocation for their interactions with a brand. Get the incentives wrong however and people will switch off to the idea as quickly as they switched on.

In sport, we have a greater opportunity to truly engage with our audience and a hunger for consumption of experiences, both that money can and can’t already buy. We’ve already seen some successful implementations of rewards base programmes in sport, particularly in North America, and we think that it’s something that should be further utilised.

It’s a hot topic, and one that we’ve talked about a fair amount in recent months, but for good reason. Any tool that helps you to get greater buy in from both staff and fans is surely worth giving some serious consideration.

Take a look at the infographic below for the full run down of loyalty in sport.

loyalty-bright-idea-for-sports

Is Performance Related Pay the Way Forward?

Football finances are under more scrutiny than ever before as clubs across Europe get to grips with the UEFA Financial Fair Play rulings.

UEFA FFP phasing began in 2011 and it is only now that the full implications are being felt across Europe.

Earlier this month the FFP regulations finally made an impact on the transfer window as clubs accept they can only invest what they have generated in revenue.

Real Madrid (€113m), FC Barcelona (€79m), Atletico Madrid (€77m), Chelsea (€94), Liverpool (€92m) and Manchester City (€62.2m) all recouped record figures for player income in figures released by The Soccerex Transfer Review by Prime Time Sport.

This in turn allowed for a record level of expenditure by FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool.

But according to Luke de Rougemount, Director of sports specialist insurance providers Hedgehog Risk Solutions, it is player bonus schemes that are likely to see the biggest investment in the future.

He commented; “We have received a huge increase in interest regarding the cover of player bonuses across Europe during the winter transfer window.

“As clubs aim to cut there wage bills to meet Financial Fair Play Regulations one way to achieve this is by offering performance related pay which can in turn be offset by a risk management programme.”

It has been widely reported that more commercial deals are following this pattern with Manchester United’s new kit deal with adidas subject to a 30% decrease should they fail to make the Champions League for two consecutive seasons.

The 10 year deal also includes a £4m bonus should they win the Premier League, FA Cup or the Champions League during the contract period.

It is a trend that Mr de Rougemont expects to continue across the game, he said; “The landscape is changing rapidly due to the implications of the Financial Fair Play and I am expecting to see a large increase in performance related contracts.

“We have worked closely on a number of projects to make sure this is a viable option for clubs, sponsors and suppliers.”

For more information regarding services provided by Hedgehog Risk Solutions go to www.hedgehogrisk.com

Professional players ARE human after all – Relocating is not a fun game

Yep it is that time of the year again. When the media is flooded with the latest news of this player moving from this Club to the other, this Club making the multimillion pound offer to the one abroad, the fancy new house this player has recently acquired,…,

I don’t recall I have ever seen among all those numbers, details and fancy stuff anyone saying on the news:

“Oh poor them what a life moving from one country to the other, dragging family along, not understanding the cultural change, the social cues, dealing with the massive pressure the Club and the fans are putting on this new player”

A professional player is a human being after all, right? Yep, some of them look like something out of this world, they do incredible things but they all struggle as much as any other professional relocating through work. Especially when partners and families are moved around too and these don’t have the right support from the very beginning of the process.

FC-Business-pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what we have approached in our latest article in the special Relocation issue at FC Business Magazine. If you want to read all about it just follow the link SecurelyBe is on page 24: http://www.fcbusiness.co.uk/eversion/fc79/index.html

Premier League to League Two, the coach, the physio,…, anyone involved in a relocation will need and should have the extra support to be able to “hit the ground working”, as well as being able to thrive during the transition.

Then and there is where SecurelyBe is the right partner. Before, during and long after your arrival.

Welcome to England!

http://securelybe.com/

Follow on Twitter: @SecurelyBe

How Digital Signage & AV Boost Sales Across the Football Spectrum…

Firstly, it’s great to contribute to the fcbusiness blog, what a privilege. Secondly, did you enjoy the World Cup and did you notice the magnificent digital signage globe that graced the opening ceremony?

Although a new Sky Bet Football League season has begun, and the Barclays Premier League kick off is on the horizon, here at Armagard the World Cup is still stuck firmly in our heads with two things in particular refusing to disappear from our thoughts:

1)      Surprising score lines! Namely the Netherlands beating Spain & ‘that’ unforgettable Germany-Brazil game. The results certainly raised eyebrows in the office among our international account managers, resulting in a bit of harmless banter.

2)      That awesome digital signage globe. Quite frankly, it was unmissable, taking centre stage at one of football’s biggest events and causing a trending storm on Twitter.

ag1

Digital Signage Globe, World Cup Opening Ceremony, Brazil 2014.

It’s the latter that got us thinking. How far have digital signage & AV solutions come in boosting sales for club and country during major international tournaments & domestic competitions?

The answer! Very far. It will come as no surprise to you that the fastest growing market for digital signage deployment in 2014 is Brazil. Football tournament organisers are recognising the influence of digital signage at major competitions, renting out systems to power house brands, such as Adidas and Nike, who reaped the rewards of fantastic digital advertising campaigns.

Adidas alone saw a 41% increase in the sale of soccer products as a result of widespread digital advertising throughout the World Cup.

Digital Signage – Driving Sales throughout Football’s Hierarchy

Arguably, digital signage has enjoyed the most success in football as part of retail strategies. Club shops, stadium food outlets, concession stands & concourses have become key, digital signage installation hotspots. Why? Because they influence fans at the ‘point of sale’. In particular, digital signage enhances sales of football paraphernalia during major club and country tournaments.

The great thing about digital signage is that it’s not only the upper echelons of football benefitting from its impact. Clubs at grassroots level are also reaping the benefits, widely using it to promote their brand.

In fact, digital signage has become a common feature at grassroots events, such as the Grassroots Football Show, staged at the NEC in Birmingham.

Even football coaching schools are cashing in, renting space & digital signage stands at schools and sports centres for advertising purposes.

Where’s the Evidence of Digital Signage Impact in Football?

An article, recently published by Armagard, refers to information provided by Essential Retail regarding the impact of digital signage at two of Europe’s leading clubs, Arsenal FC & FC Barcelona.

FC Barcelona recently invested in a 16-metre-wide LED screen, which now provides the focal point of their club shop. The store was also fitted with digital signage kiosks, giving fans an interactive buying experience. Since the refit of the store, Barcelona has reported a 22% increase in the sales of personalised shirts.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s director of retail, Simon Lilley said: “Digital signage has been hugely beneficial in promoting our stadium tours. The stadium tours now start and end in the club shop – with the retail team confident that around 50% of those who take the tour throughout the year will purchase an item in-store.”

What can Digital Signage and AV Solutions do for you?     

The evidence speaks for itself. They can drive sales, improve customer service and speed up transactions, delivering an excellent return on investment. Digital signage and AV solutions are long-term, there’s no shelf-life for advertising, content can be quickly changed keeping your message current.

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Armagard LCD enclosures update customers at Euro 2012.

They reduce the pressure & congestion on tills. One of the biggest benefits noted by stadium staff at major tournaments or domestic games is that digital signage, used as a transactional unit, gives customers a quick service option.

This has proven to be particularly beneficial during halftime, when stadiums have just 15 minutes to serve potentially thousands of customers.

Digital signage broadens the number of people that can be reached to the extent where teams, both club and country, can open up new revenue streams that were not possible before or never existed.

Ask Armagard

So, you’re probably thinking you want a piece of this digital signage action, but who do I consult?

Well, Armagard is no stranger to providing digital signage and AV solutions for major football tournaments. 485 of our LCD units, a mixture of 42” & 52” sizes, were installed across stadiums for Euro 2012 in Poland & Ukraine.

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Armagard at Euro 2012, Poland & Ukraine.

Our units can also be found at football stadiums throughout Europe, including the Rubin Kazan Stadium in Russia and the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania.

You can wall, stand, ceiling or floor mount units from our range of next generation digital signage solutions. Better still, you can customise them to suit your needs and to match the aesthetics of the environment.

Get Involved

There’s no escaping it, digital signage & AV is driving business across the beautiful game. The commercialisation of football continues to grow at a rapid pace, effecting all levels of the football spectrum.

You’ve seen it here, statements from retail directors of Europe’s leading clubs, digital signage lighting up the world stage and making an impact at grassroots level. It’s time you got involved, digital signage should be part of your football club or country’s marketing plan. For digital signage that delivers, tour the Armagard website or call 0121 608 7208 to request a brochure…

Thanks for reading and happy new season. Let the drama begin!

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