Archives for posts with tag: football

After a month of feverish activity, saying goodbye to Balotelli, and with a spend of £120m,  the footballing transfer window has drawn to a close. 31 days of speculation, hellos, goodbyes and media frenzy.

It’s the end of the first month of 2013, and the footballing fraternity already has one major campaign under its belt. As a big football fan, I’ve watched the campaign unfold over the month. I’ve seen, read and heard a lot of activity culminating in business deals and some happy and not so happy endings (sorry Peter Odemwingie). It reminded me of one giant marketing campaign (minus the multi-million pound budgets of course), and I believe there’s some great lessons to learn from our footballing friends in the way they conducted their own acquisition campaigns.

Be Focussed

All campaigns require a clear focus on the results required and the timescales involved. It helps concentrates the mind.  When there’s a definite beginning and a definite end – there is no choice but to do your business in this window. Being clear about when a campaign starts, when it ends, what you want to achieve in that timescale gives a real focus to campaigns. Being a great juggler helps; during the campaign window it is likely to be business as usual ; often campaigns are running whilst doing the “day job” . Set clear start and finish dates, and have a clear focus on the end result, with regular reminders on how you are performing against your target. Stay focussed on the campaign; even when you are doing your day job.

Acquire Well

This is how the most successful acquisition campaigns run … You’ve got your eye on the prize; the goals (sorry no pun intended) are clear. You’ve done your homework. You know who you want to acquire, you know which prospects will make a difference to your company, and your bottom line. You know how many customers the campaign is to acquire. You will be doing some courting, selling your company and its benefits, there may be a few different meetings required until pen is put to paper, not to mention some negotiation to strike a deal that works for both. The end result is that with the right customers on board, it will make a real difference to your company going forward.


£120m invested in new players. £35m spent on deadline day. QPR, Liverpool and Newcastle responsible for 50% of the spend. All vital statistics. All help measure the success of the campaign. Understanding your numbers and the impact they will have will guide you in making strategic choices. Measure return on investment; the number of meetings gained; the amount of business acquired; the cost of acquisition; the long term value of a new client. Record where your acquisition is coming from, understand who is converting, find more of the same. Work on the basis that you are only as good as your last campaign. It will give you great focus.

Be Targeted

It’s not about the scattergun approach, unless your name is QPR (sorry Harry), it’s about being absolutely specific about the acquisition you want to make. What does your ideal customer look like? What sector are they in? What is the size of the company? What do you know about them already? How much are you willing to invest in acquiring them?  What difference will they make to your business in the long term? Lean, bespoke, highly targeted campaigns with fewer numbers always turn in the best results. It’s about quality over quantity. Well worth the investment, and well worth considering when your database throws out 1000s of records.


The best campaigns are underpinned by everyone knowing their role. The team knows what’s coming, and when, they are aware of the aims and they are aware of their role in the big campaign picture. As well as the spokespeople and the frontline team, there’s plenty of people behind the scenes making it work like a well-oiled machine. All with one common purpose; to make the acquisition as efficient and profitable as possible. It’s a team effort; on and off the pitch.

Everyone’s talking about it

Use as many channels as possible to support your campaign. Integrating your marketing reinforces your campaign giving people the opportunity to hear, see and touch your campaign. Few campaigns attract the interest in the scale of the transfer window where there’s been tweets on which player is being seen where; “Messi spotted at Heathrow” claimed one tweet. The Sky Sports News transfer deadline team Jim White and Natalie Sawyer build up to fever pitch before the 11pm deadline; there’s roving reporters outside the grounds, and an army of pundits commenting on all that’s going on in “the window”. It may not be on the same scale, but if your campaign is different enough and grabs the interest; you’ll certainly know about it .. through a whole manner of media.

For your next campaign, why not create your own equivalent of the transfer window. Good luck. And let me know how you get on. 🙂

Karen Lambert is an experienced strategic marketer and Managing Director of Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and branding agency based in Lancashire, North West England. To learn more please go to

It’s fair to say that the new football season is back in full swing. Every week, millions of expectant fans across the country flock to see their beloved team in anticipation of goals galore, last-minute tension, and controversial refereeing decisions leading to further debates of goal-line technology. Last season, overall match attendance reached 13 million in the Premier League, and grew to 17 million (a 50-year high) in the 3 divisions of the Football League. This provides marketers with a key angle in which to target our football-loving Nation. In this post, we look at some of the ways in which products and brands have been promoted via the wonderful medium of football.

With stadium capacities in the Premier League ranging from 17,000 (sorry Blackpool!) to 75,000, there is clear potential for advertising exposure. This is not to mention the millions of TV viewers across the globe watching live games and highlight shows. Advertising boards around the ground are by no means a new concept, but over the last couple of years all Premiership grounds have been fitted with new digital advertising boards around the pitch-side.  These digital hoardings have the ability to constantly change the advert displayed at specific points during the game. With this in mind, Wrigley’s Extra, the Official chewing gum of the Premier League, released their ‘90+’ campaign. As matches pass the 90 minute mark, advertising boards light up with the Extra advert encouraging fans to “chew through the minutes that matter”, whilst enduring the thrills and spills of the nail-biting (or gum-chewing) minutes of ‘Extra’ time. Other examples of ‘timely’ adverts include injury compensation ads whilst players are receiving injury treatment, or greeting card ads whilst players receive yellow or red cards. Very apt!

Football shirts offer another source of prime advertising space, with big money sponsorship deals being struck by many clubs. For example, London-based international bank ‘Standard Chartered’ recently forked out a whopping £80 million in a 4 year deal to have their name plastered across the Liverpool shirt. This matched the previous and most lucrative football shirt sponsorship deal in history between Manchester United and American financial giants, ‘Aon’.  It seems clear that the global reach of top football clubs makes them highly attractive to commercial brands who are looking for exposure in growing markets. Even the referees are getting in on the act – Air Asia’s ‘Tune’ group recently agreed a seven-figure sum to sponsor Premier League match officials in over 2,000 games.

Another important aspect of sponsorship is player endorsement, which plays a particularly large role in enhancing the brand image of sportswear companies such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc. Take for example the endorsement between Nike and Brazilian star Ronaldinho. The two teamed up to make a viral ad which displayed Ronaldinho testing out the new ‘Nike R10’ football boots, and skilfully hitting the crossbar four times in a row.

The video was viewed over 50 million times online, and caused a great amount of hype as to whether the footage was real or fake!

Given that football is a sport that so many people can relate to, it lends itself to huge potential in both press and television advertising. Many successful advertising campaigns have been built upon the foundations of combining football and humour. There’s no doubt that football has the ability to capture the interest of the viewer, whilst also putting across some important brand values. Here are some of my favourite football-related ads from over the years. Hope you enjoy them too 🙂

If Carlsberg did pub teams…

John Smith (ft. Peter Kay) – ‘Ave it!

Wickes – Just the Job:

Italian Training Camp:

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Greg Brooks is a Digital Marketing Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

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