I would define football marketing as: A process through which football teams and organisations continuously attract, monetize and keep fans, sponsorship, and the media in mutually beneficial relationship, characterized by giving and taking by all parties.
In marketing football at your club there will always be a question, what are you going to start with.
Start with a Marketing Plan
Like all other businesses it starts with a plan. A plan is a road map that you are going to follow to your destination. It spells out everything that you are going to do and how you are going to do it. It includes all the milestones you are going to cover. This plan must not be written in rock, because as you move on you there will always be unforseen challenges and obstacles. You should be able to make changes to reflect these issues and challenges.
Market to Club Employees and Players First
Football Marketing starts within the club itself. Every person associated with the club must reflect the vision the club wants to reflect to the fans, general public, media, sponsors and prospective sponsors. Football Marketing will make serious demands on the employees of the club, it is therefore important that the marketing process starts with them. They should buy into the process or else it will struggle. Employees buying into this vision should not be a very difficult thing since more economic success of the club means more economic success to them as well. It is a no brainer. Despite this, employees must be sold the new direction the club wants to take.
How much will it cost?
The cost of a fotball marketing project depends on the means of the club and the its ambition. One thing for sure is that there are activities that can be done on a shoe string budget. What is very critical is the fact that there must be some sort of direct marketing to the fans from the club. Without marketing your club is going to suffer from chronic empty stadiums.
What football marketing is not about
To me football clubs especially the emerging ones should spend as little time and resources as possible on branding. The name of the club will grow with what happens in the stadium on and off the pitch. You may have a high sounding name but with no fans. You will be very lucky to get sponsorship, because sponsors are looking for mileage from your fans and not names. A sponsor will always look at what he will benefit from your fans, period. So, wasting money on building a name is a complete waste of resources, you would do better if you market to fans.
Do not waste money on advertising
When you are looking for fans do not waste money on advertising. Advertising is for selling of tickets and it achieves short time results. When it stops the results are going to stop as well. Football clubs and their fans have a love like relationship. You have to cultivate and grow this love to benefit from it. Advertising on the other hand does not achieve this.
This website is built for the benefit of football. The thinking behind it is that if football understands that the currency that runs football is fans then the game will be able to lure untold success. Players will be able to succeed economically right in their home countries.
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