Archive for May, 2009

FC Barcelona: Respect and Leadership

FC Barcelona wins the UEFA Champions League

FC Barcelona wins the UEFA Champions League

Yesterday evening FC Barcelona has won the UEFA Champions League. And the “RESPECT” tagline of UEFA was omni-present. Respect for every aspect of the game and its followers.  The message is/was clear and in return I show my respect for the way the best team in the world has beaten Manchester United. Just brilliant, they play the best soccer at this moment.

But what has this to do with Sports Marketing? Well, at the same time I show tons of respect for the shirt advertising of Barca. It is the only top team in the world who doesn’t get paid for shirt advertising. They deliberately haven chosen to put “UNICEF” on their shirts for free. As a matter of fact they pay Unicef each year 1,5 million EURO. That is respect and leadership. While other top teams get 10+ million EUR for shirt sponsoring.

From a brand perspective, make sure you connect your brand with a winning team. You can’t underestimate the impact on perception and image. And this goes both ways. I wouldn’t like to be the manager of a team with a bank as shirt sponsor. Will “AIG” still be the shirt sponsor of Man U. next year?


UEFA Champions League Final: Football Money League

This evening Manchester United and FC Barcelona are playing the UEFA Champions League Final in Rome (Italy); a multi-million dollar game. The winner gets 7 million euros extra.  A perfect opportunity to have the first post about sports marketing.

Soccer has become big business over the years. While clubs in the past were run rather amateuristic and mostly by a small group of friends, today any top team is at least a medium sized business on its own, led by a board of directors and a management team.

According to the Footbal Money League (a report by Deloitte) the top 20 clubs in Europe all have a season revenue of over 100 million euros. Top of the League 2007-2008 is Real Madrid with almost 400 million revenue, followed by Manchester United and FC Barcelona; exactly the 2 clubs of this evening.

By investigating the online presence of both clubs, I was honestly positively surprised, and especially about Man. U. They have a great online presence with many web 2.0 features (excellent overall website, streaming of games and interviews, newsletter, blogs, forums, mobile integration, many subscription based services, loyalty programmes etc). The club is also on Twitter. You clearly see that their online presence is a real marketing and revenue producing well-oiled engine. There is something for everyone.

Barcelona is not bad either, though Man U. is doing better. A beautiful win-win concept of Barca is the fact that season ticket holders can sell their ticket to the club for the games they won’t attend. They get a fixed fee for that based on the ranking of the opponent. In return the club is allowed to resell that ticket to someone else for a higher price. In this way both the club (by getting more for the seat) and the season ticket holder (by selling his ticket for a game he is not attending) earn extra money.

Another commercial advantage Man U has is their stadium Old Trafford. It is a modern multi-functional complex with many possibilities including events and entertainments opportunities. Although Nou Camp (The Barca stadium) can cold more spectators, the stadium is 50+ years old and is less of a modern multi-functional complex.

And I would like to end with a quote from Rinus Michels (a famous Dutch manager) “Soccer is War”, in this case “Soccer is War for Money” is more accurate.

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

TED is for me the top of the conferencing scene, the ONE conference I would love to attend once in my life. See this short video to get to know what it is all about.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from these three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

It has everything a conference should have in the “conferencing 2.0” space; a combination of a strong and aspiring live event (with only a few hundred lucky ones that can attend) with a strong online presence which extends the life event into a year round experience.

  1. Strong and Simple Brand
  2. Clear and easy vision “Spreading Ideas”
  3. Top Speakers (people who made it or will make it) from all over the world (Bono, Clinton, Benjamin Zander, Gates, Top Professors, Scientists, Engineers, Designers, you name it)
  4. Everyone can participate (submit your topic, attendee, online …)
  5. Onsite Networking
  6. Strong online web 2.0 presence (website, blog, interaction, twitter, facebook, youtube etc)

Each talk is maximum 18 minutes and their is only 1 session per session slot (isn’t that great, no choices to be made). They focus on the right things: the CONTENT and INSPIRING SPEAKERS, for the rest nothing fancy!! And in the light of “Conferencing 2.0” a great online presence.

To give you an idea of an inspiring talk … have a look at the “Sixth Sense” of Pattie Maes. I must admit, I have chosen for one of my Belgian colleagues.

P.S. I have nothing to do with the TED organization. I just love it :-).

The Future of Conferences

Check out an interview with Katie Chatfield (Jack Morton Worldwide), Mat Moore (Innotecture) and Beth Etling (Insight Exchange) on Australia’s ABC radio on the past and future of conferences. There is a transcript and an audio file.

It contains interesting parts about unconferences, social networking, communities and above all the impact of technology on the conferences industry.

Passion and Fun

This morning I was driving early into the office in Brussels and as usual I was listening to MNM with Peter Van De Veire. The guy and his 2 colleagues make me laugh and have a good mood to start the day. Perfect!

They put PASSION in their work. They have fun. They are not afraid to push some “accepted” boundaries. It is contagious.

Isn’t that what it is all about “passion, fun, getting out of the box” in everything we do. I can get so excited when I see an event coming to live, because I care about it deeply. I want the best for all participants. And this all comes out of my passion and drive for events.

Attendees become Participants

The continuously emerging trends in society and IT have their impact on how companies think about marketing and on how they spend their marketing dollars, including events budgets. More efforts and dollars will go into digital marketing integrated projects where Web 2.0, social networking, the power of the consumer define the next playing field.

We are evolving from “interrupt” to “engage”, from “push” to “pull”, from “solitude” to “social networking”, from “brand control” to “brand co-creation”, from a “dialogue” to a “relationship”, from a “viewer” to a “participant” etc.

Every company talks about their CONNECTION with their audience.

We shouldn’t talk anymore about “Attendees” and “Delegates” but about “PARTICIPANTS”. That is what people attracts in nowadays events; engagement, participation, collaboration, input etc. They want to participate to make it relevant for them. Over are the days of “one-way traffic”, participants want to be part of the experience.



No Jobs at Apple Developer Conference

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is one of these aspiring and inspiring people to watch and listen too. I haven’t had the chance to see him live but saw several keynotes online. It is amazing to see how he can bring a message and market a product.

They key thing is that he brings only a few messages, builds up the excitement and uses images rather than text as a slide support. An image says more than 1000 words.

The newsbulletin.

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May 2009
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