What the Premiership learnt from Formula One

15 February 2008 at 5:50 pm 1 comment

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Andrew Curry writes:

I hope I’m not too late to note a fine article [not currently available on the Guardian’s own site] by the Guardian’s Richard Williams on how England’s footballing Premiership has, in its plan for overseas league games, followed a global marketing blueprint first laid down by Formula One. Williams suggests the three steps to sporting franchise heaven go like this:

  • Step One: Secure the commercial rights to the sport, including the right to sell broadcasting licences, income from which will dwarf the sale of tickets and perimeter advertising.
  • Step Two: Use the television ratings to encourage the acquisition of teams by people more interested in global brands and markets than in the sport’s traditional audiences.
  • Step Three: Clear out the traditional schedule to create new opportunities in new markets, if necessary by threatening to remove existing events completely.

Williams also suggests that there’s a fourth lesson that the Premiership’s Richard Scudamore has learnt as well:

“Saying the unsayable out loud is more than halfway to actually getting it done, as long as you have the money on your side and are prepared to take no prisoners.”

Given the money at stake, the current crowd of owners, and the track record of the Premiership over the last fifteen years, you wouldn’t bet against it pushing the plan through. But there are a couple of differences: formula one is still about individuals (we remember great drivers like Senna and Fangio), whereas football is about teams and their history. And football is far more rooted in place than motor racing ever was.

Entry filed under: brands, marketing, sport.

dowconzki § 2 The future is already here…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Anon  |  25 February 2008 at 9:42 am

    At the top levels of football the sport is becoming more about individual brands and less about teams and rootedness in history or place. Aren’t the global brands that are being built those of Beckham and Ronaldo rather than of the sport itself?


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The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.

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