Unique Marketing Initiatives: Part 2

In addition to last week’s marketing strategies, here's a look at few other initiatives worth noting
by Anil Kadiyala   |   Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#FootyBiz - column on international football business, soccer marketing and finance.

Last week, I wrote about a series of initiatives started by clubs that market teams well. It's not always easy retaining fans and earning new ones, so many clubs are taking the extra step necessary to draw in the supporters.

Millwall’s partnership with Prostate Cancer UK

Millwall has signed Prostate Cancer UK as its primary shirt sponsor for the 2013-14 season, which is a partnership with a difference. Millwall made a decision to offer this sponsorship to the charity organization for free while further efforts would be made by both parties throughout the season to jointly raise funds that would be shared between prostate cancer UK and Millwall FC community trust.

Millwall’s director Trevor Keyse and legendary former striker Neil Harris have fought their own battles with cancer. The club has taken this boardroom decision out of personal interest and aims to raise awareness by providing information in their publications and having health professionals available at the ground on matchdays.

Millwall have chosen its own way of making a significant contribution to the community and as stated by the club CEO, they believe in the motto ‘Football is the answer, not the problem.’

Borussia Dortmund’s kit release

In build up to the 2013-14 season, Borussia Dortmund has decided to release their new kit in a unique fashion. Kit maker Puma had planted 80,645 flower pots in Dortmund’s Westfalenpark in a manner that resembled their new kit. An area of 10,764 square feet was covered with these flowers. A total of 80,645 also happen to be the stadium capacity of Borussia Dortmund.

These flowers were on display at Westfalenpark for 4 days and were later given away to the public. The club believes that each flower will act as a good luck charm to them for the up-coming season.

This is another way of making good use of a kit release, which generally happens to be an internal event at the club.

Borussia Dortmund tifo

Man City launches website in 10 different languages

In their continued effort to establish a good fan engagement platform, Manchester City has recently made its website accessible in 10 different languages. This is a strategic decision the club took in response to its increasing global fan base. Manchester City’s website will now be available in Traditional Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. All these are in addition to their existing website in English, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese.

What make’s Manchester City unique is the diverse fan engagement platforms it has employed. A fanzone area ‘City Square’ within the Etihad Stadium, wide range of fan engagement tools on their official website, and now Man City's website being available in 13 different languages makes it a club that is determined in taking fan engagement to a new level.

Stoke City offer free travel for all away games

In a first of its kind, Stoke City has offered fans free coach travel for all the 2013-14 away games. This decision was taken in response to the increased revenue that all top flight English clubs are bound to receive through the new TV deal for the 2013-14 season.

This new proposal was well appreciated by the faithful Stoke fans, who made good use of the 24 coaches that were deployed to take them to Anfield from Britannia Stadium for their 1st away game of the season.

There are 2 things to take note of from this unique strategy. Apart from the financial benefits, fans are also likely to travel with their fellow supporters that might not have been possible all the time without this offer. Traveling with fellow supporters in the same coach offers a different and pleasant experience compared to traveling alone.

Officials at Stoke City were keen to re-invest the additional income and put it to good use for the fans. In the current era where more and more working class fans are being priced out, this is an effective strategy by Stoke City officials to ensure their fans traveling for away games have a good experience.

These 8 initiatives were chosen for the reason that they stood out from the rest and are likely to make a significant contribution to the respective club fans and the society. If there are other 2013-14 pre-season initiatives that deserved a mention, please do leave a comment below so that I could come up with another series of such unique initiatives.  

Anil KADIYALA

Nationality:
India
College:
Robert Gordon Univ.
Club Domestic:
Club Foreign:
Liverpool FC
A sports enthusiast and a soccer freak who previously worked in various sectors outside sports but eventually had to respond to the love of his life and at present working as a sports marketing professional.
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