The importance of internet usage as a marketing tool in the studies of sports marketing
THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERNET USAGE AS A MARKETING TOOL IN THE STUDIES OF SPORTS MARKETING: “CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBS WEBSITES”
Sports Marketing Concept• “The specific application of marketing principles and processes to sport products and to the marketing of non-sports products through association with sport” (Shank, 2005)• For the first time in 1978, “Advertising Age” mentioned the term “sports marketing”• Sport marketing includes the marketing of: – Products, such as equipment, apparel, and footwear – Services and experiences, such as attendance at a sporting match or participation in sport, Fanshops – Entities, such as leagues, teams or individuals – The recruitment and retention of volunteers as a relationship marketing exercise
Sports Marketing Mix• Product Strategies: Sports marketing managers want to know fans‟ perceptions of ticket ushers, concessions, parking, and stadium comfort.• Distribution Strategies: The advent of sporting goods superstores offering sports memorabilia on the Home Shopping Network, and marketing sports products on the Internet are examples of traditional distribution function at work.• Pricing Strategies: The price of tickets for sporting events; fees for personal seat licenses, pay-per-view and television sports programming; and the rising costs of participating in recreational sports such as golf, are all mind when people think of sports marketing, and texamples of how the pricing function affects sports marketing.• Promotional Strategies: When it is asked; to mind when people think of sports marketing, and the likely response is advertising. They may think of athletes such as Anna Kournikova, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or David Becham endorsing a product or service.
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING– The New Media and The Internet• Internet sites are clearly a key tool for sport communications professionals to get their messages out and to interact one- to-one with stakeholders• Web sites have the ability to increase brand awareness as well as provide unique insights into the organization to the user• Web sites provide organizations with the ability to distribute their message and product to a worldwide audience• The Internet enhances sales and interactive communications, as well as giving opportunity to collecting and updating the consumer profile.
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING– The New Media and Sports Marketing• Sports clubs‟ web pages are the most accessed sites• ESPN Sports Zone, CBS SportsLine, NFL.com, NBA.com Wimbledon‟s website sites are perceived as brands• The Internet has a great value on ticket sales, sporting events, sponsorship activities, market research, sports tourism, sporting goods and sports marketing activities• An organization‟s Web site allows a sport organization‟s message to be published in the way the organization wants it to be presented and not filtered by the media
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING– The New Media and Sports Marketing• Teams make important announcements on their own sites before or at the same time as the information is distributed to the media• Web-based sports sites; – Content Sites – Team or League Sites – Commercial Web Sites – Gaming or Betting Sites – Fan Sites• Most of the sports club have their own TV channels (GS TV, Arsenal TV etc.) which give opportunity to watch the games in a digital environment.
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING – The New World Wide Web of Football• In sports area, football has held centre stage in the evolution of new media services• The relationship between football and new media is viewed as a complex web of relationships between football authorities, players and agents, sponsors and advertisers, the media, telecommunications companies and fans.• There are new patterns of organisation and production in the football industry many of them driven in part by the needs of global media.• The new media provide new opportunities of experiencing football, providing fans as consumers with a wider choice of football related information and entertainment.
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING– Interactive Football: A New Industry• With regard to football and interactivity this has meant that new media innovators have had to capture the imagination of football fans to engage with the various services on offer. •The latest incarnation of new media spaces used by football fans are weblogs.• Blogs break down barriers to publishing and enable the reader to respond directly to published work via a message board system• Subscription services to specialised information/content, pay- per-use sites with video-on-demand or pay-per-view content, sports retailing with football merchandise or online betting are the most lucrative area of sports e-commerce.
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING – Fan Interaction• Giving the fans the opportunity to interact via chat rooms and blogs with players, coaches, and management is another means of creating interesting content.• Chat rooms, message boards, and blogs are staples of any attempt to create virtual communities• The fans congregate in an online community is critical because it is where they will turn for information, shop, and click with sponsors• A critical element of any cyberpromotion strategy is that an organization‟s site must be updated constantly.• One of the dilemmas facing a sport promotion specialist in attracting fans to contribute to message boards, chat rooms, and sponsored blogs is how to ensure that postings do not create a poor impression of the organization.
IMPACT OF DIGITAL ERA ON SPORTS MARKETING– Football and Online Betting• Betting on the Internet has transformed the configuration of those who fancy a flutter on football.• The anonymous world of online gambling has opened up a new lucrative sector in the industry and seduced a new wave of customers.• The future prospect of gambling through an iTV portal will continue to be important in any bidding process for television rights to major sport, particularly football which has seen the biggest growth in the betting industry.• The level and accessibility of football betting does raise concerns. It could be argued that the use of credit cards and „e-cash‟ makes gamblers more irresponsible with their money as debt becomes invisible.
NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES OF SPORTS CLUBS• 75 percent of Internet users were enrolled in some type of social media website, including social networking sites, reading or writing on blog sites• The internet offers a channel of direct communication previously unavailable to football clubs• Athletes no longer communicate with the general public through traditional media such as newspapers • In terms of marketing efforts, both Facebook and Twitter websites are critically important for athletes and fans to express their feelings and personal lives• Many fans are keen to keep as up to date as possible with information about their team, and want to get as close to the clubs
NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES OF SPORTS CLUBS - The Use of Internet in Football Clubs Marketing• Sports Clubs in Europe earn millions of dollars from commercial products• Turkish clubs become aware of this great revenue lately• At one level, net technology enables secure transactions between buyers and sellers to take place• The Internet offers commercial opportunities for clubs seeking to provide information• In order to increase the site traffic regular e-mails will be sent to subscribers• The web site should be up to date and forum, chat room sections will attract more supporters
NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES OF SPORTS CLUBS- Advantages and Disadvantages of Using the Internet as aPromotional ToolAdvantages:• Easy to target sports fans and participants• The Internet is an interactive medium in its nature• The Internet is flexible• The Internet is cost effectiveDisadvantages:• Difficult to measure the effectiveness of sports promotion over the Internet.• Promotional clutter is another difficulty• Internet reaches certain groups of consumers
NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES OF SPORTS CLUBS- Measurement of Marketing of Sports on the Web
NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES OF SPORTS CLUBS- Internet Sites / Web Pages Official Internet Site Elements: • Organizational History • Schedule of events, games, activities • Biographical information on players or performers • Links to related Web sites or pages (in the case of league, links to all member teams) • Ticket-purchasing options • Merchandise sales opportunities (cyberstores) • Chat rooms and the e-mail addresses of players, broadcasters, management, or front office personnel to facilitate communication • Statistics • Fan pages • Newspapers or other publications • Video or audio clips of game action or highlights • Special pages devoted to dance teams, mascots, or other organizational features • Surveys and other means to provide feedback
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES • 2010-2011 Football League Champion Teams’ official websites content is analyzed Fenerbahçe Borussia Dortmund (Turkey) (Germany) AC Milan (Italy) Manchester United FC Barcelona (United Kingdom) (Spain)
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES • The web sites were examined in terms of content and design. – Homepage – Main Page – Marketing Tools – Communication Tools
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Homepage; Main Page
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Homepage; Main Page• Common; • English in language options. • Club, press and fan news • Squad info, team photographs • Club history, stadium info, photo gallery, managerial message and league fixture • All the teams have team logo and reference links in their websites• Differences; • Only FC Barcelona doesn’t have “Introduction Page” • Only AC Milan has team flag • Only Fenerbahce doesn’t have an archieve • Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have statistics and FAQs • Fenerbahce and Borussia Dortmund have site map
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Marketing Tools
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Marketing Tools – Sponsorship Sectors • Clothing and consumer goods manufacture: All teams • Automotive: All Teams • Insurance: All Teams except Fenerbahçe • Telecommunication: Fenerbahçe, AC Milan, FC Barcelona • Online Gambling: Fenerbahçe, AC Milan, Manchester United • Healthcare: Fenerbahçe, AC Milan, FC Barcelona • Beverage: Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund • Travel: AC Milan, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund • Watchmaking : Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona • Airlines: AC Milan, Manchester United, FC Barcelona Fenerbahçe: 11 sectors Manchester United: 11 sectors AC Milan: 16 sectors FC Barcelona: 11 sectors Borussia Dortmund: 15 sectors
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Marketing Tools •Fenerbahçe, Manchester United and AC Milan websites have links for betting /online gaming sites. •All the websites have banner advertisements which mostly belong to the sponsors. •Apart from advertisement, promotional efforts which contain a wide range of activities are also displayed on all team websites. • All teams except Borussia Dortmund have online ticket sale section. •All teams sell their own sports goods via their websites.
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Communication Tools
CONTENT ANALYSIS OF FOOTBALL SPORTS CLUBSWEBSITES – Communication Tools •All teams have press and news section •All teams have online video content except Borussia Dortmund •Fenerbahce has an online radio •Facebook is very popular within all teams. •Manchester United, AC Milan and FC Barcelona have mobile applications. •All the clubs have subscription option •Only Manchester United and AC Milan websites have forum.
CONCLUSION• All web sites provide various and rich information about the club• In the past club web sites showed poor performance in the selling features. But the research has shown progress in this area.• All web sites promote the sponsors of the teams and others products. However, all sites fail to provide advertisements of other companies in order to raise more income.• All web sites make use of the e-mail service. However, this service is only used for contacts with the administration team.• None of the web sites has exploited the potential of collecting data directly from the site users.• None of the web sites promote clubs’ activities and offers and they do not address crucial issues like segmentation and targeting of their fans.