Unique Marketing Initiatives: Part 1

Clubs, in partnership with various organizations, have initiated marketing strategies and campaigns of different sorts
by Anil Kadiyala   |   Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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

Before every season, there are always reasons for clubs to make their mark and develop more fans. And before the 2013/2014 season, English football clubs followed this pattern and developed initiatives to bring in new fans and keep as many supporters as possible.

Everton’s ‘Make their day’

“Make their day” is a project launched by Everton wherein very limited free season tickets were presented to the most deserving Evertonians for the 2013-14 season. Through this initiative, fans were asked to nominate their fellow supporters for a free season ticket and state why they deserved it.

Club legend Graeme Sharp was given the responsibility to identify who the most deserving fans were. Everton players personally went to deliver these season tickets.

In an era where clubs are looking to maximize profits, inflate ticket prices and identify new revenue streams, it’s initiatives like these that assure fans that they are being valued. This highlights the fact that Everton FC is keen on establishing a good connection with its local community and is also sending a positive message to its fans.

Oldham’s money back sponsorship proposal

In an effort to find a training kit partner, Oldham Athletic had proposed a sponsorship offer wherein it would be willing to refund the full sponsorship amount to the investor provided their club gains promotion (from League One to Championship) either automatically or through playoffs. The deal includes usual benefits like company logo on training kits, advertising within the ground and so on.

Irrespective of the reasons behind coming up with this proposal, offers like these are likely to grab sponsors attention. This gives Oldham a better opportunity to gain instant revenue, which might have been a major priority. If Oldham was to get promoted it would put the club in a superior league watched by more audience and thus giving them an opportunity to attract bigger investment through a similar sponsorship deal.

On the other hand, sponsors investing in this deal are likely to have more visibility for their brand, especially if Oldham is in and around the top 6 position. The unique ‘money back’ clause is strong enough to give brands more visibility compared to normal sponsorship deals. And if the club gains promotion, then it would be one of the best investments by the sponsor. Either way it is a win-win situation for both parties involved.

Chelsea’s “It’s blue, what else matters?” campaign

Adidas, in partnership with Chelsea, came up with a campaign prior to the 2013-14 kit release. This teaser advert had seen certain Chelsea players dipped in blue paint from head to toe and showcasing their commitment to the club thus emphasizing the tagline: “It’s blue, what else matters?”

The idea behind this campaign was to spur up the fans and give them a moment to showcase their pride in being a true blue. It turned out to be a decent teaser prior to the official kit release.

This is just one way of doing things beyond the traditional way. Clubs in the future can use kit releases as a marketing or PR event rather than sticking to traditional photoshoot behind closed doors.

Bristol City sign a fan for 2013-14 season

In an effort to take fan engagement to a new level, Bristol City, in partnership with its shirt sponsor Blackthorn, signed a fan who will be part of their official squad for the 2013-14 season. Season ticket holders above 18 years were eligible for this lucky draw. The lucky fan was given an official squad number and was involved in selective team activities, including a team photo shoot.

This is an initiative aiming at bringing the fans closer to the club. Regardless of the fact that only 1 fan would be privileged in being involved with the team, it keeps all season ticket holders on their toes in anticipation of being that lucky winner. Initiatives like these are bound to improve the club-fan bonding. 


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.