PR Lessons from the Pitch

Written by Euan Cunningham

For the millions of sports fanatics across the UK, the relationship they have with their chosen team can be a magical thing. Come rain or shine they trek all over the country, giving up their weekends to follow their heroes. To keep up fan’s morale, sports teams should encourage a tight bond with their fan base outside the respective stadium, right into the local communities.

Having thousands of supporters which sports teams can easily communicate with brings many opportunities, not only to promote brand loyalty but also get the latest news or events out to the wider public.

What most people don’t realise however, is the endless scope of opportunities stemming from this relationship. Not only does good PR enhance commercial B2C success for these clubs (ticket sales, hospitality sales, merchandising sales etc.), it can also create opportunities for B2B interaction (sponsorship etc).

Business Interaction

The most successful examples of this are football clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal regularly pulling in millions of pounds a year via sponsorships and ‘partnerships’ with major brands. The relationship can benefit the local community as well, with many Premier League football teams like Liverpool launching initiatives in their local area. This relationship can work both ways, with the brands who work with sports teams benefiting from increased exposure.

Sponsoring the kit of a leading football or rugby side in the UK can result in your brand name exposed on TV during a match, encouraging potential consumers to associate a certain brand with a certain team – who doesn’t want to be linked with an organisation supported by potentially hundreds of thousands of customers?

This is why it is vital for sports clubs to ensure they project the right image through public interaction. If a business sees a club interacting successfully with their local area, giving their fans an enjoyable experience within the stadium, they are much more likely to decide it’s a brand and a name they’d like to be associated with.