Football is the UK’s number 1 sport, gaining billions of viewers per year. With attention in such†large volumes, businesses across the world havenít been naive in recognising an opportunity. Itís for that reason that football goes beyond gameplay on a pitch and entitles itself as a business transaction. Evidence of this can be found via clothing sponsorship,†advertising boards, and stadium name rights.
Shirt sponsorship first became commonplace in the 80s after its debut in 1976, which was instated by retired footballer, Derek Dougan. Dougan made a name for himself as a footballer for Wolverhampton Wanderers, but it was when he became Chief Executive of Kettering Town that he realised the marketing potential that football had. Forming a partnership with Kettering Tyres Ltd, the business paid a four-figure sum for their name to be printed on the teamsí shirts.†
Since then, football has been plagued with sponsorship deals, with big names like Nike and Adidas making an appearance on football shirts worldwide. In fact, the success of such brands can be owed to the nature of this sponsorship, since it not only creates recognition but aspiration too. The reason is that many football fans look up to the players in their supportive football clubs, which means that they have the power to influence.†
Following the successful inception of the shirt sponsorship, businesses began to realise that football had a lot more to give, especially when new technology allowed football to be televised to large audiences. For that reason, football became an advertisement opportunity that would land a brand in front of millions of people worldwide. Hence, the advertisement board was born. Surrounding the pitch in stadiums across the UK, large brands like Coca Cola and Puma revelled in the opportunity to gain more traction.
This proved pivotal for the online betting market. Sites like†William Hill offer betting on a variety of football markets, whether local, national or international. As part of their marketing, they present promotions – not necessarily just for new players but also for those who have already signed up. But before the internet, when they had less opportunities for exposure, the introduction of in-stadium billboards†meant these companies could directly target their desired audience during gameplay.
Stadium Name Rights
If sponsorship and advertisement†werenít enough, businesses began to want more that gained them rights within the football industry. They couldnít name the players or the football teams but they could name the stadiums. Acting as the centre of football teams and games, large businesses that had no relevance to football or sport could make their mark in the industry by becoming a landmark. To name a few, there’s the Etihad, the Emirates, and the King Power Stadium. In doing this, these businesses created recognition for themselves and have had people all over the country talking about their brand.
Itís clear that while football is the most popular sport in the UK, it is perhaps one of the most popular methods of a business transaction. This comes as no surprise since it is a global sport that attracts attention from billions†across the world.
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