FIGHTING WITH THE BIG ONES
In an era of globalization, the world gets smaller and football clubs have international competition. There’s no secret to turning this problem into an opportunity: knowing your supporter and investing in the trustable relationship are the fuel for clubs in the Americas.
The admiration of children and adolescents for European clubs and international football has been growing year after year. For years, our clubs have assigned our families the task of raising and retaining their fans. Understandable, since passion or sympathy for the team goes from generation to generation.
Well, the times are different now. We are in a more connected world, where other sports can reach unlimited connections facilitated by the internet and, mainly, by videogames. Today's young fans have greater access to information from leagues and foreign teams, making them potential consumers of these clubs. Today we can already hear that they cheer for a national team and a European team. And we need to start to think on how clubs are reacting to undermine – or not – this attack by the European culture especially on football. What are the strategies to win or retain the news consumers? How can we differentiate our brand for Barcelona or Real Madrid? How can we fight with them? Or: How can we use that to improve our awareness?
The rise of young fans' taste for foreign clubs is demonstrated by the simple fact that the three largest clubs followed by Brazilians, as an example, on social networks are European. In this context, European clubs have realized a promising business in the Americas and have set up offices like in the United States to better study this market, and of course, to expand their brand and be closer to that consumer. Ask a child: "What team do you support?" Usually the answer will come with a national team followed by a European club. However, in a not so distant future we will see only European team fans. Another noticeable change is that on sunny Sundays, children are wearing the full uniform of a European team to play ball in the city's parks. Their heroes don’t play in their city. They exist on TV.
Unfortunately, the solution to this problem is not instantaneous; requires time, planning and marketing strategies. A first step is to assume the role of protagonist in the loyalty and the capture of these fans and to take a critical look at the local market. Improve your product, know your audience and get a closer relationship between the culture of the club and the supporter. The alert has been given so that our clubs do not live in the past and can build great stories with their main asset, the supporter.
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