Magazine article Marketing

Too High a Premium on the Premiership?

Magazine article Marketing

Too High a Premium on the Premiership?

Article excerpt

As the FA Premiership kicks off for the 2000 season, are its teams neglecting the future for short-term profit?

TV money has revitalised football in England. The Premier League has now become one of the richest in the world, with many grounds sold out every Saturday.

A new four-year TV deal worth about [pound]1.65bn, by far the biggest in the sport's history, has just been sealed.

Attendances are continuing to boom at some of the finest club stadia in the world, Europe's top players continue to arrive by the private jet-load, and big brands are queuing up to have their names linked with English teams.

But underpinning all the razzmatazz of last weekend's launch of the 2000 season, was a sense of dismay among some quarters about what the Premier League now stands for.

The other side of the football boom is fans being priced out of seats, replica strips being produced at such a rate that parents can't keep up, and international players who are little more than footballing mercenaries with little passion for the club they play for or the fans who pay their wages.

So what condition is the Premier League brand really in? Umbro's head of marketing communications, Shay Boyd, and Mark Kleinman, Marketing's sports marketing reporter (and a CharltonAthletic fan), give their verdicts.


Short-term plans for the brand should focus on developing synergy between the live and at home product proposition.

New product development should target new consumers with exciting products (such as new programming) that allow the consumer to interact with the Premier League -- from a team's preparation time to the matchday itself.

If best practice is applied in harnessing the vast amount of technical experience available from the Premier League's multinational playing, coaching, and management teams, then a midterm objective should be to raise the quality and total percentage of British nationals competing in the Premier League.

The future of all football relies on there being a consistent number of boys and girls falling in love with the sport. The league should look to drive its long-term brand focus ensuring every child in the UK has this opportunity. …

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