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Mls Fan Development

  1. 1. Fan Development In Major League Soccer Connecting Brands to the Soccer Consumer Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing LLC Phone: (630) 946-6961 | www.giltedgesoccer.com November 2008
  2. 2. Fan Development In Major League Soccer On
July
19,
2008,
a
huge
crowd
of
46,754
 sport
in
another
country.


 showed
up
at
Giants
Stadium
to
watch
the
NY
 This
example
indicates
that
the
challenge
for
 Red
Bulls
play
the
LA
Galaxy
featuring
one
 MLS
Teams
has
evolved
beyond
simply
 David
Beckham.

It
was
an
entertaining
2‐2
 putting
“butts
in
seats”
to
addressing
the
 draw,
and
despite
the
fact
it
was
played
in
the
 need
to
build
real
relationships
with
the
tens
 cold
and
caverness
Giants
Stadium,
most
of
 of
thousands
of
people
who
attend
1
or
2
 the
people
probably
went
home
having
 games
throughout
the
season.


In
other
 enjoyed
their
MLS
experience.
 words,
the
challenge
is
how
to
turn
 For
years,
sports
marketers
have
talked
about
 spectators
into
fans.
 the
challenge
of
turning
the
millions
of
soccer
 So
what
is
a
fan?

A
fan
is
an
individual
who
 participants
into
fans.



As
a
participation
 thinks,
talks
about,
and
is
oriented
towards
 sport
–
particularly
with
youth
–
soccer
holds
 “The
single
 soccer
even
when
they
are
not
actually
 a
dominant
position
in
the
market.

18
million
 most
 observing
a
specific
game.
Fans
exhibit
the
 participants
is
the
figure
the
Sporting
Goods
 principles
of:


 important
 Manufacturers
Association
has
promoted
for
 a
number
of
years
now.
 factor
in
 •
Loyalty
‐
connotes
sentiment
and

 determining
 
 feeling
of
devotion
 The
“turning
participants
into
fans”
 the
asset
 • Allegiance
‐
applies
to
a
person’s
sense
 perspective,
however,
skips
one
very
 
 of
obligation/duty
to
support
their
team
 value
of
a
 important
evolutionary
step
–
that
of
the
 •
Fidelity
‐
implies
unwavering
devotion
 spectator.


The
vast
majority
of
the
46,754
 franchise
is
 
 to
the
team
 people
at
the
NY
Red
Bull
game
would
be
 the
existence
 categorized
as
spectators.


Simply
put,
these
 of
a
large
and
 Simply
put
the
difference
between
spectators
 are
people
who
attend
an
event,
leave,
and
 and
fans
is
engrossment
and
passion.
 passionate
 then
forget!
 local
fan
 While
comparisons
to
European
football
 MLS
Teams
have
generally
done
a
good
job
 base”
 generally
hold
little
relevance
as
it
relates
to
 attracting
spectators
to
the
stadium
to
watch
 the
development
of
soccer
in
America,
it
is
 their
teams
play.


This
has
been
accomplished
 interesting
to
note
that
a
few
years
back
a
 due
to
a
combination
of
micro
and
macro
 survey
was
conducted
of
Celtic
FC
supporters.

 factors
ranging
from
aggressive
ticket
sales
 People
were
asked
to
select
a
statement
that
 campaigns,
to
strategic
event
enhancements,
 best
described
their
relationship
to
the
Club.

 such
as
doubleheaders,
to
the
development
 Amazingly
over
90%
said
Celtic
FC
was
“a
vital
 of
soccer
specific
stadiums
that
provide
an
 part
of
their
existence.”

Now
that’s
true
 opportunity
to
significantly
enhance
the
live
 fandom!
 event
experience.



 Mass
fandom
to
this
degree
will
never
occur
 When
you
consider
the
Red
Bulls
average
 in
the
US
for
a
whole
host
of
reasons,
but
the
 attendance
for
its
other
14
home
games
was
 point
remains
that
MLS
Teams
need
to
 13,727,
it
begs
the
question
of
what
happened
 develop
deeper
relationships
with
larger
 to
the
33,027
other
people?

Yes,
some
of
 numbers
of
people.


 these
folks
where
simply
there
to
see
cultural
 icon
David
Beckham
in
the
flesh
and
probably
 After
all,
the
ultimate
end
game
for
 not
that
interested
in
soccer.

The
vast
 ownership
is
to
drive
the
asset
value
of
the
 majority
though
were
“soccer
people”
–
 franchise,
and
the
single
most
important
 individuals
with
an
existing
connection
to
the
 factor
in
determining
this,
is
the
existence
of
 game
either
as
a
participant,
or
as
a
fan
of
the
 a
large
and
passionate
local
fan
base.



 | Fan Development in Major League Soccer 2
  3. 3. Factors Affecting Asset Value “At
the
core
of
 the
 organization
 must
be
a
 philosophy
of
 A
Focus
on
Sales
and
Fan
Development
 and
oversee
the
development
of
strategies
 ticket
sales
 and
tactics
to
cultivate
the
brand.
 and
fan
 There
are
four
fundamental
factors
that
 At
the
core
of
the
organization
must
be
an
 development”
 influence
the
asset
value
of
a
franchise.
 organizational‐wide
philosophy
of
ticket
sales
 and
fan
development.
 While
Winning
is
obviously
an
organizational
 priority,
business
strategies
and
tactics
must
 While
ticket
sales
is
the
most
important
 be
designed
to
succeed
regardless
of
on‐field
 revenue
stream,
and
bodies
in
house
the
 performance.


Local
Market
Factors
also
play
 primary
driver
of
external
perception,
it
must
 an
important
role
in
determining
asset
value,
 be
remembered
that
game
attendance
is
only
 but
unless
the
discussion
is
about
potential
 one
component
(albeit
an
extremely
 relocation,
this
is
not
something
Club
 important
one)
of
accomplishing
the
ultimate
 Executives
can
ultimately
affect.
 goal
of
developing
fans.



 So
Club
Executives
in
charge
of
business
 Clubs
must
develop
a
hand‐in‐glove
 affairs
must
focus
on
the
aspects
of
Brand
 relationship
between
sales
and
fan
 Development
and
Exploitation,
and
the
 development
strategies.

They
must
execute
 leveraging
of
Associated
Equity
 aggressive
campaigns
to
maximize
ticket
 opportunities.


 sales
to
spectators
(again,
people
who
 observe
a
game
then
forget!),
and
at
the
 It
is
the
job
of
the
Club
President/Chief
 same
time
implement
initiatives
that
will
 Business
Officer
to
be
the
brand
manager
for
 strengthen
an
individual’s
level
of
 the
Club.

They
must
establish
organizational
 engagement
with
the
Club
and
nurture
them
 values
and
standards,
build
operating
 from
being
spectators
in
to
becoming
true
 structures
and
processes,
set
expectations,
 fans.


 | Fan Development in Major League Soccer 3
  4. 4. The
stronger
the
fan
identification,
the
 Don’t
take
anything
for
granted.
Look
in
the
 greater
the
benefits
to
the
Club
via
increases
 mirror
and
ask
some
direct
questions.


 in:
 Is
my
brand
identity
fully
developed
and
 •

Ticket
sales
and
game
attendance
 clearly
communicated?

What
are
the
tangible
 increases
–
reduced
no‐show
rates
 points
of
difference
and
unique
qualities?

Is
 •

Ticket
renewal
likelihood
 the
image
one
that
excites
the
soccer
 •

TV
viewership
and
other
media
interest
 community
and
represents
values
that
fans
 “Not
placing
 •

Licensed
merchandise
purchases
 are
proud
to
associate
with?
Does
the
front
 •

Willingness
to
pay
higher
prices
 office
universally
understand
the
 an
emphasis
 •

Likelihood
of
participation
in
affinity
 organizational
goals
and
brand
identity?
Do
 on
fan
 marketing
initiatives
 they
believe
in
it
and
practice
its’
virtues
every
 development
 •

Intellectual
property
values
in
the
mind
 day?
Do
they
effectively
and
consistently
 is
simply
 of
corporate
sponsors
 communicate
the
brand
to
the
outside
world?

 misguided.
 •

Word‐of‐mouth
publicity
 Gaining
a
true
appreciation
for
how
your
 
 Equally,
 brand
is
perceived
–
both
internally
and
 Ultimately
over
time
high
degrees
of
fan
 assuming
that
 externally
‐
is
an
absolute
critical
step
in
 affinity
also
provide
some
insurance
against
 fan
 developing
a
successful
franchise.


 poor
team
performance.
 development
 #2
–Is
the
office
culture
built
on
sales
and
fan
 Not
placing
an
emphasis
on
fan
development
 will
just
 development?
 is
simply
misguided.
Equally,
assuming
that
 happen
 fan
development
will
just
happen
organically
 Your
human
resource
is
your
most
valuable
 organically
 with
winning,
or
conversely
cannot
happen
 resource.

Hiring
good
people
is
important,
 with
winning,
 unless
the
Team
wins,
is
also
misguided.
 but
ensuring
the
environment
in
which
they
 or
conversely
 work
–
and
their
contribution
to
it
–
is
equally
 Get
The
Fundamentals
Rights
 cannot
 important.

What
is
the
office
culture
that
 
 permeates
throughout
your
Club?

Is
it
a
 happen
unless
 Ownership
needs
to
know
the
right
business
 culture
that
emphasizes
ticket
sales,
fan
 the
Team
 fundamentals
are
in
place.
Fundamentals
that
 development,
and
the
importance
of
 wins,
is
also
 will
not
only
drive
ticket
sales,
but
also
foster
 representing
the
virtues
of
the
brand?


 fan
development.

Fundamentals
that
ensure
 misguided.”
 the
Club
is
positioned
to
accomplish
both
 Have
you
determined
and
articulated
in
 short
and
long‐term
goals.
 writing
what
kind
of
culture
you
want
to
 have?

Do
you
have
a
plan
on
how
you
will
go
 There
are
six
basic
questions
every
Club
 about
creating
the
desired
office
culture
and
 owner/executive
should
ask
themselves
 bring
your
brand
standards
to
life
every
day?


 about
their
organization.
 Any
plan
you
create
must
promote
a
 #1
–
Do
we
have
a
strong
brand
identity?
 company‐wide
appreciation
for
the
principles
 Image,
as
they
say,
is
everything.


The
brand
 of
fan
development
and
the
impact
they
have
 identity
of
a
Club
is
the
foundation
upon
 on
how
each
and
every
staff
member
 which
the
organization
is
built.
If
the
 approaches
their
daily
responsibilities.

Every
 fundamental
values
and
principles
of
the
Club
 department
must
be
united
in
the
quest
to
 do
not
resonate
with
the
soccer
public,
Clubs
 develop
programs
and
assets
that
stimulate
 will
have
a
difficult
time
creating
strong
fan
 revenue
and
provide
opportunities
to
 connections.
 strengthen
fan
engagement.
 | Fan Development in Major League Soccer 4
  5. 5. attrition
and
non‐renewals
–
a
major
 #3
–
Do
we
have
efficient
and
effective
data
 challenge
for
many
sports
teams.

 management
systems
in
place?
 The
plan
must
stress
that
every
member
of
 Knowledge
is
king,
and
being
“data‐driven”
is
 the
organization
plays
a
role
in
Customer
 an
essential
characteristic
of
a
successful
 Engagement,
not
just
certain
departments.

 Club’s
front
office.

Securing
and
processing
 Roles,
responsibilities
and
expectations
 good
data
is
the
key
to
prospecting
and
sales,
 should
be
clearly
defined
and
communicated
 while
mining
and
cultivating
such
data
is
a
key
 as
part
of
the
office
culture.


 to
fan
development.

The
Club’s
data
 management
and
CRM
system
is
a
foundation
 Your
customer
service
team
should
be
 pillar
of
the
organization.
The
right
systems
 focused
on
providing
more
than
just
excellent
 “Fan
 must
be
in
place,
and
a
commitment
to
utilize
 reactive
customer
service.
This
is
a
minimum
 Development
 such
systems
understood
throughout
the
 requirement.

They
should
also
take
 Club.


 is
about
 advantage
of
the
opportunity
to
create
 providing
 strong
impressions
with
customers
through
 How
is
data
being
captured
on‐line
and
off‐ individuals
 memorable
pro‐active
services.


Develop
a
 line?

Do
you
have
creative
tactics
and
 mindset
that
is
geared
to
identify
issues
and
 with
reasons
 disciplined
execution?

Who
needs
to
know
 needs
in
advance,
establish
unsolicited
 what
and
when?

If
the
right
information
 and
 communication
campaigns,
deliver
random
 doesn’t
get
into
the
hands
of
the
right
 opportunities
 acts
of
kinds
and
appreciation,
and
 employee
at
the
right
time,
then
 to
invest
 orchestrate
structured
management–to‐fan
 opportunities
are
being
missed.

Are
current
 increasing
 communication
platforms.
 procedures
efficient
and
effective?

Are
 amounts
of
 realistic
measurements
and
tracking
 Challenge
your
marketing
team
to
be
creative
 mechanisms
in
place
to
evaluate
performance
 time
in
the
 and
reinvigorate
their
marketing
efforts.
 of
sales
and
CRM
initiatives?

 social
 Provide
customers
access
to
unique
 community
 experiences
and
customized
content‐driven
 #4
–
Do
we
have
a
well
thought
out
 programs
both
on‐line
and
off‐line.

Find
new
 that
is
the
 “Customer
Engagement”
plan?
 ways
to
create
more
dynamic
connections
to
 Club”
 important
audience
segments
such
as
youth,
 Fan
development
is
about
creating
a
 family,
adult,
Hispanic,
and
opinion‐leaders.

 relationship
with
the
individual
that
extends
 Showcase
the
passion
of
your
fans
as
a
means
 well
beyond
the
monetary
transaction
for
a
 to
generate
Team
relevance.
 ticket
or
a
jersey.


It
is
about
providing
 individuals
with
reasons
and
opportunities
to
 Make
sure
your
plan
takes
full
advantage
of
 invest
increasing
amounts
of
time
in
the
social
 CRM
knowledge,
social
media
marketing
 community
that
is
the
Club.

The
more
 tools
and
digital
assets.

These
technologies
 connection
points
they
have
to
the
Club
the
 have
changed
customer
expectations
and
 more
they
engage,
the
more
they
value
their
 created
a
whole
new
world
of
opportunity
for
 association,
and
the
deeper
their
loyalty
 you.
 becomes.


 Your
Customer
Engagement
plan
should
be
 Developing
a
strategic
Customer
Engagement
 comprehensive,
with
the
overall
goal
being
to
 plan
is
the
best
way
for
a
Club
to
protect
the
 stimulate
increased
customer
interaction
with
 lifetime
value
of
each
individual
and
develop
 your
Brand
on
as
many
different
levels
as
 fans.
Your
plan
should
promote
and
 possible.


 encourage
fan
engagement
while
also
 establishing
exit
barriers
to
protect
against
 | Fan Development in Major League Soccer 5
  6. 6. #5–
Are
our
game
day
experiences
truly
 Avoid
listening
to
those
“expert
marketers”
 memorable?
 who
will
tell
you
to
expand
your
sales
and
 marketing
efforts
into
the
general
populous.

 The
live
game
day
experience
is
the
primary
 Stay
true
to
the
belief
that
people
who
are
 exposure
to
the
Club
for
all
individuals.

It
 already
pre‐disposed
to
the
game
are
more
 creates
the
lasting
memories
and
perceptions
 likely
to
be
interested
in
watching
 that
drive
fan
interest
–
for
good
or
for
bad.


 professional
soccer
‐
and
potentially
 becoming
fans
‐
than
people
who
have
no
 With
the
development
of
soccer‐specific
 connection
to
the
game.

Sure,
there
will
 stadiums,
Clubs
now
have
the
opportunity
to
 always
be
the
example
of
the
individual
who
 control
the
packaging
and
presentation
of
the
 has
no
prior
exposure
to
the
sport
becoming
 product.

You
have
the
opportunity
to
create
 engaged
with
the
team,
but
the
likelihood
of
 an
intimate
“soccer
experience”
that
 this
happening
is
small.


 showcases
the
game
in
the
most
 advantageous
perspective.

Realistically,
it
is
 So
fish
where
the
fish
are.

Stay
focused
on
 impossible
to
do
this
when
you
are
playing
in
 “Focus
should
 developing
relationships
and
connections
 Giants
Stadium
for
example.


 be
the
single
 with
“soccer
people”
–
people
who
are
 already
pre‐disposed
to
the
sport.

Stay
 One
of
the
challenges
for
Club
Executives
is
 most
 focused
on
trying
to
connect
with
those
 that
the
more
games
you
attend,
the
more
 important
 46,754
spectators
that
showed
up
to
see
the
 difficult
it
becomes
to
remember
what
it
is
 word
in
the
 NY
Red
Bulls
play
the
LA
Galaxy
in
July.
 like
to
be
a
customer,
and
the
harder
it
is
to
 Chief
 appreciate
how
individuals
are
effected
by
 
 Executive’s
 the
experience.

Try
to
step
away,
or
hire
an
 independent
consultant
to
evaluate
every
 dictionary.”
 “If
the
ladder
is
not
leaning
against
the
right
 tangible
and
intangible
aspect
of
the
fan
 wall,
every
step
we
take
just
gets
us
to
the
 experience
and
brand
exposure
at
your
 wrong
place
faster”
 games.
 Stephen
R
Covey
 #6–
Are
we
focused?
 
 Focus
should
be
the
single
most
important
 
 word
in
the
Club
Executive’s
dictionary.


 
 In
the
hectic
world
of
MLS
new
challenges
 and
new
opportunities
are
constantly
arising.

 As
you
tackle
each
new
issue
and
chase
each
 short‐term
revenue
opportunity,
make
sure
 
 your
organizational
focus
remains
squarely
on
 Connecting Brands to the Soccer Consumer the
principles
outlined
above,
and
executing
 
 your
strategic
plan
and
brand
promise.



 
 It’s
ok
to
tweak
tactics
along
the
way
as
you
 gain
new
experience,
but
ensure
you
stay
 true
to
your
core
philosophies.
 | Fan Development in Major League Soccer 6

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