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ESSEC Sports Chair - How football clubs manage their brands: From conception to internationalisa

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses how football clubs manage their brands, from the initial conception to the process of internationalization. It examines the key steps involved in building, managing, and promoting a football club's brand, as well as the influence of external stakeholders in this process.

๐Ÿ“„ Section Summary

How football clubs manage their brands: From conception to internationalisation

  • The total brand value of the top 10 football clubs has grown exponentially from $3 billion in 2011 to over $13 billion in 2021, reflecting the increasing focus on brand management in the sports industry.
  • A brand is defined as a name, term, sign, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes a seller's goods or services.
  • Brands create value for companies through higher profits and reduced marketing costs.

Developing a brand, a three-step process

  • Definition of brand identity: Developing a brand's unique identity by considering the person(s), product(s), organization, and symbol(s).
  • Market positioning: Analyzing different consumer segments and developing differentiated marketing actions.
  • Development of marketing actions: Activating the brand's unique identity and positioning through various marketing approaches.

The specificity of sport brands

  • The sports industry adopted a more strategic approach to branding in the mid-1990s to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • The sports product consists of the "core" (the show, stadium, players, and spectators) and the "auxiliary characteristics" (peripheral entertainment).

The influence of external stakeholders

  • The development of a football club's brand involves four main stakeholders: media, sponsors, fans, and local communities.
  • These stakeholders influence various stages of brand management, from identity construction to internationalization.

Internationalizing a football club brand, a must in the sporting global era

  • Disseminating the brand through adjusting broadcasting schedules, recruiting foreign players, pre-season tours, and opening training academies or club shops.
  • The brand management process has three levels: strategic construction, operational deployment, and the resulting brand strength and value.

๐Ÿ’ก Key insights

  • Football clubs have increasingly focused on building and managing their brands as a lever for creating financial and symbolic value.
  • The brand management process for football clubs involves three key steps: defining brand identity, positioning the brand in the market, and developing marketing actions.
  • External stakeholders, such as media, sponsors, fans, and local communities, play a crucial role in the development and internationalization of a football club's brand.
  • Evaluating the strength and value of a football club's brand is essential, and it involves analyzing factors like marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance.
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