VAR – a System in Turmoil?

Humorous Dialogue: “Soccer Call” (Whytock, 2014)

GOAL…..no, wait a minute, the referee is now reviewing it for a possible off-side. A few minutes more, the crowd are getting anxious and ……oh no, the goal is overturned for off-side – the players toenail was over the line!

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is causing much debate, confusion and controversy within the Premier League yesterday, today and tomorrow.

REVEALED: Premier League to introduce limb-tracking technology developed by Hawk-Eye in bid to improve offside calls as part of VAR revamp (Hughes, 2019)

So, where did it all begin and how are we going to resolve the issues that are currently being debated such as disagreements over penalty incidents and the time taken for a review to be completed which ultimately disrupts the flow of the game.

KNVB Wallpaper (Ambriola, 2010)

The system, named Arbitrage (Refereeing 2.0) was created as part of a project carried out by the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Asociation) in the 2013-2014 football season to support refereeing decisions and to ensure “the flow and fairness of the game, with high quality referring at all matches”.

Initially intended to review all incidents, upon the realisation that this would be unrealistic, the KNVB opted for ‘minimum interference and maximum benefit’ and changed the reviews to ‘match-changing situations’.

Dover Airmen encouraged to watch, report, & protect (Peck, 2018)

The technology included the use of a Hawk-Eye system, or in other words, goal line technology, which produces camera footage replay images to determine if the ball had crossed the line.

And how it works, well not in the interest of fair play and minimal disruption some may say however, the referee receives and relates instruction through an ear-piece worn during the game and they will raise their hand to indicate a decision is being reviewed. The VAR system reviews the video footage and advises the referee whom will then draw a rectangle to replicate a TV screen to change the original decision.

UEFA to consider use of VAR in Champions League (teamtalk.com, 2018)
Linesman Official Liner Free Photo (Stuttard, 2019)

One major talking point at present relates to the reviews that have overturned goals for offside based upon a matter of inches. “A close offside decision is the most common reason for VAR being consulted after a goal has been scored”.

By taking into context the fact that a referee will not take into consideration the perception of being clear and obvious, he or she may just be able to justify a decision based on a ‘matter of inches’?

Another sticking point is the detrimental effect reviews and overturned goals are having on the fans, the atmosphere within a stadium and the joy of the ‘goal celebration’. Many believe that VAR is ruining football and that the spirit of the game is being put in doubt.

Gary Neville, the former Manchester United player and now Sky Sports pundit, spoke about the problems “with time limits and bizarre criticism of minimal off-sides”. This followed a survey by YouGov which revealed only one in 25 fans believed VAR has worked well.

Man Utd legend Gary Neville cracks commentary joke during Liverpool disaster (Wilson, 2014)

Perhaps one of the problems is that fans and pundits alike will always strive to pick out the most controversial things and not look at the bigger picture. Whatever happens and whichever route VAR takes, one thought may  just stick – football may never be the same again!

References

Collinsdictionary.com. (2020) Definition of ‘video assistant referee’. Available at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/video-assistant-referee (Accessed: 24 February 2020).

Knvb.com (2020) official website. Available at: https://www.knvb.com/ (Accessed: 4 February 2020).

Medeiros, J. (2018) The inside story of how FIFA’s controversial VAR system was born. (Available at: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/var-football-world-cup (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Neville, G. (2020) Gary Neville on VAR: The full Q&A. Available at: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/29326/11925544/gary-neville-on-var-the-full-qa (Accessed 5 February 2020).

Smith, A. (2020) VAR: Sky Sports survey with YouGov results in full. Available at: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/11920796/var-sky-sports-survey-with-yougov-results-in-full (Accessed 4 February 2020).

Telegraph Sport. (2019) VAR in the Premier League explained: How does it work, what decisions can be changed and why it is controversial? Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/0/var-premier-league-explained-does-work-decisions-can-changed/ (Accessed: 8 February 2020).

 Image References

Ambriola, M.J. (2010) KNVB Wallpaper. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ambriola/4698042890 (Accessed: 4 February 2020).

Hughes, M. (2019) Revealed: Premier League to introduce limb-tackling technology developed by Hawk-Eye in bid to improve offside calls as part of VAR revamp. Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7627857/Premier-League-revamp-VAR-limb-tracking-technology-bid-improve-offside-calls.html (Accessed: 2 February 2020).

Peck, A. (2018) Dover Airmen encouraged to watch, report, & protect. Available at: https://www.dover.af.mil/News/Article/1477449/dover-airmen-encouraged-to-watch-report-protect/ (Accessed: 24 February 2020).

Stuttard, K. (2019) Linesman Official Liner Free Photo. Available at: https://www.needpix.com/photo/download/1662531/linesman-official-liner-flag-soccer-football-premier-league-free-pictures-free-photos (Accessed: 24 February 2020).

Teamtalk.com. (2018) UEFA to consider use of VAR in Champions League. Available at: https://www.teamtalk.com/news/uefa-to-consider-use-of-var-in-champions-league (Accessed: 24 February 2020).

Whytock, K. (2014) Humorous Dialogue: “Soccer Call”. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenwhytock/14070594006 (Accessed: 24 February 2020).

Wilson, J. (2014) Man Utd legend Gary Neville cracks commentary joke during Liverpool disaster. Available at: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/man-utd-legend-gary-neville-18719017 (Accessed: 20 February 2020).

 

FA Cup Matters?

“They think it’s all over …..It is now”

9 surprising facts about the 1966 World Cup in England (Belam, 2016)

An historic quote from the BBC TV commentator Kenneth Walstenholme during the 1966 World Cup Final at Wembley.

Now pause for a second and take a minute to reflect on the current effect top flight football is having on one of its greatest competitions – the FA Cup.

A competition which for many used to be seen as the one major footballing event of the calendar, an immersive experience built around passion and excitement and one which provided an identity with their beloved club.

File:The FA Cup Trophy.jpg (Yo, 2009)

Surrounded by tradition, over the last couple of decades many various social media outlets are reporting how the so called bigger clubs are devaluing the competition in favour of Premiership survival.

Many of these clubs include younger players in team selections for the cup fixtures, making sure that their star players are rested for league fixtures. To emphasise this, many football fans blame “those teams who prioritise survival in the top flight over a shot at glory”.

This was emphasised by Harry Redknapp, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, in an article by the Mirror in 2014 when he proclaimed to be “baffled by the big clubs fielding weaker teams” and claimed that the FA cup has “become devalued”.

Manager Profile Harry Redknapp (premierleague.com, 2020)

On the contrary, many believe that the demise of the competition was set in motion in 1999 upon Sir Alex Ferguson withdrawing his Manchester United team from the competition team to take part in the Club World Championship in Brazil and to help England’s bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

To emphasise the influence Premiership Teams are currently having on the competition, one need look no further than the recent debacle surrounding Jurgen Klopp (Manager of Liverpool FC) who caused much deliberation by announcing that none of his senior players would be involved in the FA Cup replay match with Shrewsbury Town.

Liverpool XI vs Shrewsbury predicted amid Jurgen Klopp’s winter break protest (Jones, 2020)

In view of these two clubs, a Paddy Power news website posed the question of which one actually disrespected the cup more!

Statistics in respect of Premier League money distributed last season record that Manchester City “clinched 30 million from TV income and a further 38 from prize money”(Naz, 2019). In contrary, the FA cup winners received a prize fund of £3.6 million!

If we take into consideration that these games no longer dominate national television and newspapers as they once did and the fact that revenue created from the Premier League far outweighs that from the FA Cup, perhaps we can justify why the so called ‘bigger clubs’ field weaker teams and do not place the competition as a top priority.

In contrast, many fans may still view the competition as prestigious as always given the fact that cup games provide the chance for many of them to purchase tickets and watch their team at the chosen venue.

In view of the arguments for and against and indeed the drama currently surrounding the competition, are we going to witness the demise of the competition and will the curtain finally come down on the English FA Cup?

References

British Pathe. (2014) England v West Germany: 1966 World Cup Final. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0aK2IgORGA. (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Edwards, R. (2016) Remembered: When TV  darlings Manchester United ruined the FA Cup. Available at: https://www.fourfourtwo.com/features/remembered-when-tv-darlings-manchester-united-ruined-fa-cup. (Accessed: 24 February 2020).

Larner, T. (2016) Watch: Forgotten ’66 World Cup commentator who did NOT say: ‘They think it’s all over…’ Available at: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/watch-forgotten-66-world-cup-11681895. (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Mirror Football. (2011) Redknapp: The magic of the F.A. Cup is gone. Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/tottenham-boss-harry-redknapp-claims-3327287. (Accessed: 2nd February 2020).

Mitchell, S. (2020) Man United 2000 v Liverpool 2020: Who disrespected the FA Cup more? Available at: https://news.paddypower.com/football/2020/01/31/man-united-2000-v-liverpool-2020-who-disrespected-the-fa-cup-more/ (Accessed: 2nd February 2020).

Naz, M. (2019) How is Premier League Money Distributed And What Does This Mean For The Title Race?. Available at: http://www.castlesofspain.co.uk/ (Accessed: 16 February 2020).

Smith, R. and Panja, T. (2019) The Fleeting Magic of the F.A. Cup. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/sports/fa-cup-third-round.html. (Accessed: 2nd February 2020).

Image References

Bellham, M. (2016) 9 Surprising facts about the 1966 World Cup. Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/9-surprising-facts-1966-world-3639077. (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Jones, M. (2020) Liverpool XI vs Shrewsbury predicted amid Jurgen Klopp’s winter break protest. Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-xi-vs-shrewsbury-predicted-21420292. (Accessed: 4 February 2020).

Premier League. (2020) Manager Profile Harry Redknapp. Available at: https://www.premierleague.com/managers/970/Harry-Redknapp/overview. (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Yo, C. (2009) FA Cup Trophy. Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_FA_Cup_Trophy.jpg (Accessed: 2nd February 2020).

 

 

The Domino Effect

 

The Magic of Momentum (Riccuhito, 2017)

The domino effect, a situation where one event or decision made leads to a sequence of similar events taking place.

Premiership football, a lucrative business which when successful, can provide the opportunity for increased revenue through advertising, sponsorship and social media.

Premiership Football Quiz Questions and Answers (Quiz Questions,2020)

Since its inception in the 1992/93 season, the Premier League is fast becoming one of the most prestigious and lucrative football leagues in the world, bringing substantial economic growth and immense financial gain.

Success often brings with it failure and just how successful a football club is may be afforded to the way it deals with failure and the pressure of sustaining success throughout a full season.

Perhaps the key to success lies with the players who perform week-in, week-out on the pitch however, the manager appears to be the one person who is held accountable and used as the scapegoat when a response is sought. “Sustained decline in performance is often addressed by changing manager” (Bridgewater, 2010, p.142).

Just how much of an affect this will have is a matter for consideration and debate however, upon one manager receiving his marching orders, are we witnessing others following suit soon after with a domino effect taking shape?

Reviewing the premiership season last year, an article provided by i-news on 27th November related to which Premiership manager would be the next casualty stated “Which under-pressure Manager could fall foul of the December curse and have their Christmas ruined?”

Arsenal sack Unai Emery: What went wrong for Spaniard and was it all his fault? (McNulty, 2019)

 

Phil McNulty claims Marcel Brands should be in charge of appointing Everton’s next manager (Saville, 2019)

Two managers, Unai Emery (Arsenal) and Marco Silva (Everton) were listed as favourites, both of whom were sacked by their relative clubs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closely behind was Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham United who, low and behold, received his marching orders on 28th December!

West Ham sack Manuel Pellegrini after Leicester loss as Hammers loom near relegation zone (Peck, 2019)

In respect of Unai Emery, he was dismissed on 29th November last year with statistics provided by the BBC on 23rd November recording that Arsenal were “winless in their last six matches across all competitions”.

By factoring these statistics into the equation, we may summarise that it was an immediate reaction to the run of poor results or a short term response to alleviate disharmony amongst fans given the fact Arsenal announced, on 20th December 2019, Mikel Arteta would be joining as their new head coach.

We are now just past the half way stage of the 2019-2020 season and already we have witnessed 6 managerial casualties with various websites posing the question of who could be next? and providing up-to-date news with the latest odds for the next manager to leave.

We may summarise and conclude however, there are two factors which stand out in a profession that is constantly under the media spotlight. The current manager will always face immense pressure to deliver results and the impact that any change of manager will have on a club will undoubtedly be determined by the results on the field. In taking these factors on board, we may determine that it is a cut-throat business and if results are not in favour, then ultimately the manager will pay the price.

References

BBC. (2019) Arsenal: Unai Emery says he ‘can do better’ as winless run continues. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50533438 (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

Bridgewater, S. (2010) Football Management. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cambridge Dictionary (2020) The Domino Effect. Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/domino-effect (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Everton Football Club. (2019) Marco Silva. Available at: https://www.evertonfc.com/club/history/players-and-managers/managers/marco-silva  (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

Glazier, M. (2020) Next Manager to Get Sacked Odds. Available at: https://bookmakers.co.uk/tips/betting-preview/next-manager-to-get-sacked-odds  (Accessed: 10th February 2020).

Gonzalez. R. (2019) Premier League manager sacking tracker: Who’s on the hot seat after West Ham lets Pellegrini go? Available at: https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/premier-league-manager-sacking-tracker-whos-on-the-hot-seat-after-west-ham-lets-pellegrini-go/  (Accessed: 10th February 2020).

Inews. (2019) Premier League Managers should fear ‘sacking season’ after Mauricio Pochettino exit. Available at: https://inews.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league-managers-sacked-unai-emery-marco-silva-mauricio-pochettino-1326138 (Accessed: 19th December 2019).

Premier League. (2020) Unai Emery Manager Profile. Available at: https://www.premierleague.com/managers/7247/Unai-Emery/overview        (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

Sky News. (2019) Arsenal confirm appointment of Mikel Arteta as new head coach. Available at: https://news.sky.com/story/arsenal-confirm-appointment-of-mikel-arteta-as-new-head-coach-11891325 (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Talksport. (2019) Shown the Door Manuel Pellegrini: West Ham sack Chilean boss following dismal home defeat to Leicester. Available at: https://talksport.com/football/648392/manuel-pellegrini-west-ham-sacked/ (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

Image – References

Football Fancast. (2019) Phil McNulty claims Marcel Brands should be in charge of appointing Everton’s next manager. Available at: https://www.footballfancast.com/premier-league/everton/phil-mcnulty-claims-marcel-brands-should-be-in-charge-of-appointing-evertons-next-manager (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

McNulty, P. (2019) Arsenal sack Unai Emery: What went wrong for the Spaniard and was it all his fault? Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50602948 (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

Peck, M. (2019) West Ham sack Manuel Pellegrini after Leicester loss as Hammers loom near relegation zone. Available at: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1221880/Manuel-Pellegrini-sacked-West-Ham-Leicester-loss (Accessed: 11th February 2020).

Quiz Questions (2020) Premiership Football Questions and Answers. Available at: https://quizquestions.net/premiership-football-quiz-questions-and-answers/   (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

Ricchiuro, J. (2017) The Magic of Momentum. Available at: https://medium.com/@jackricchiuto_42649/the-magic-of-momentum-472a7e4fb14e  (Accessed: 22nd February 2020).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(https://www.quintly.com/blog/premier-league-social-media)

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/sacking-managers-pointless-stats-slaven-bilic-west-ham-premier-league-a8044586.html

 

 

 

 

Bully for you!!

 

Red Bull Logo Blue (pscldot, 2009)

Red Bull, the energy drink which ‘vitalizes body and mind’ and ‘gives you wings’ whilst providing an energetic dimension to your vodka.

Energetic it may be, it is also a very unique and globally recognised  brand and one which has been described as “an unbeatable marketing powerhouse“.

Delving a little into its fizzling history, from its foundation in 1984, first launch in 1987 and a total of 6.8 billion cans being sold by 2018, Red Bull has indeed added considerable energy to various people’s lives and has gone so far as now being recognised as one of the world’s leading brands.

Page 3/Royalty-free earth photos free download (Pixabay.com, no date)

Having invested considerable time and energy in sponsoring a wide range of sporting events, Red Bull is acknowledged and respected by professional sports stars around the globe.

Red Bull give you wings (snowbrains.com, 2014)

With a structured marketing strategy built around its mission statement of ‘giving wings to people and ideas’, Red Bull has propelled itself into the world of sport with new and absorbing content centred around thrilling promotional ideas and concepts.

From owning football clubs, enjoying enormous success in the world of Formula 1 and its involvement in extreme sports,  Red Bull has captivated a new audience.

 

 

Slowly but surely racing into a lead, the brand’s rise to Formula 1 success was initiated in 2004 with the help of Team principal Christian Horner who helped structure a plan to ensure they were able to compete with the best racers. In the 2006 race held in Monaco, David Coulthard provided the team with its first podium finish (3rd) and by 2010 the team were celebrating their first title, the Constructors Championship with the help of the youngest ever world champion, Sebastian Vettel who was a product of the Junior Team. Red Bull even went on to retain the title over the next 3 years.

Vettel Leads the Field (Elleray, 2011)

In 2005, the brand began its first venture into football with the purchase of Austria Salzburg which was quickly renamed Red Bull Salzburg. To gain more status, the brand delved into German Football by forming Red Bull Leipzig in the 2009/2010 season. The club started out in the 5th division however, with heavy investment, it was promoted to the top flight of German football, the Bundesliga in 2016.

Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig: Combined X1 of unofficial sister clubs (Edwards, 2019)

The strength of the brand is geared around its vision and by offering a primary service the brand can remain focused on delivering quality whilst captivating its audience with dynamic, exciting and tension fuelled sporting action such as its involvement with extreme sports which offers a different dimension to the more traditional sport.

Perhaps a brand which anticipates and drives the customer mood with mentally stimulating drinks that help to fuel adventure and high risk, it certainly has earned its place amongst the elite by recognising and expertly executing the opportunities sport has to offer and in doing so, it may just be able to justify the statement ‘Red Bull gives you wings’.

Red Bull Stomps All Over Global Marketing (thetaylorinstitute,com, 2017)

References

Augustyn, A. (2020) Sebastian Vettel German Race-Car Driver. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sebastian-Vettel (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Bergstrom, B. (2017) ‘Red Bull Marketing Strategy: What You Need To Know (And How to Copy It)’, CoSchedule Blog. Available at: https://coschedule.com/blog/red-bull-marketing-strategy/ (Accessed: 21 January 2020).

Bundesliga.com (2019) Bundesliga Official Website Brought To You By BT Sport. Available at: https://www.bundesliga.com/en/bundesliga (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Extremesportscompany.com (2020) Engaging Through Extreme And Adventure Sports Since 1995. Available at: https://www.extremesportscompany.com/ (Accessed: 15 January 2020).

Humphreys, J. (2017) Lepizig before Red Bull: a city that can claim to be the home of German football. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/football/englische-woche/2017/feb/11/rb-leipzig-red-bull-city-football-history (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Mission Statement Academy (2019) Red Bull Mission And Vision Statements Analysis. Available at: https://mission-statement.com/red-bull/ (Accessed: 29 December 2019).

Mission Statement Academy (2019) Red Bull Mission And Vision Statements Analysis. Available at: https://mission-statement.com/red-bull/ (Accessed: 29 December 2019).

Redbull.com (2019) The Red Bull Racing team have come a long way since their inception in 2004. Here’s a brief look at their history. Available at: https://www.redbull.com/za-en/red-bull-racing-history-story (Accessed: 28 December 2019).

Redbull.com (2020) Gives you Wiiings. Available at: https://www.redbull.com/us-en/energydrink (Accessed: 21 February 2020).

Redbull.com (2020) Giving Wings to People and Ideas. Available at: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/energydrink/company-profile (Accessed: 28 December 2019).

Roberts, JW. (2019) As well as winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, David Coulthard scored Red Bull Racing’s first-ever podium there. Who better to give us the lowdown on the iconic race? Available at: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/david-coulthard-interview-monaco-f1-grand-prix (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Taylor, J. (2019) Christian Horner: life in the fast lane. Available at: https://luxurylondon.co.uk/drive/motoring/christian-horner-interview (Accessed: 21 February 2020).

Transfermarkt (no date) Red Bull Salzburg. Available at: https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/red-bull-salzburg/startseite/verein/409 (Accessed: 21 February 2020).

Image References

Edwards, H. (2019) Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig: Combined X1 of unofficial sister clubs. Available at: https://www.squawka.com/en/red-bull-salzburg-leipzig-combined-xi-haland-werner/ (Accessed: 9 February 2020).

Elleray, M. (2011) Vettel Leads the Field. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mike_elleray/6205969541/ (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Pscldot. (2009) Red Bull Logo Blue. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/36422385@N03/3359781273 (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Pxfuel.com (no date) Page 3/Royalty-free earth photos free download. Available at: https://www.pxfuel.com/en/search?q=earth&page=3 (Accessed: 2 January 2020).

SnowBrains (2014) Red Bull give you wings. Available at: https://snowbrains.com/red-bull-give-wings-red-bull-pay-13-million-class-action-lawsuit/ (Accessed: 28 December 2019).

Thetaylorinstitute.org (2017) Red Bull Stomps All Over Global Marketing. Available at: http://blog.thetaylorinstitute.org/?p=1854 (Accessed: 10 February 2020).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s Football – Marketing the Opportunity

 

England’s World Cup Success Inspires Growth In Women’s Football Participation (thefa.com, 2019)

Growing at a fast pace with increased participation, Women’s football is now a globally recognised sport and one which is now able to provide valuable and sustained marketing opportunity.

In order for the major sports brands to seize the initiative, they must provide the customer with the right product, at the right time, price and place. A study into the value of a sports brand (Bouchet, Hillairet and Bodet, 2013) declared “A brand truly becomes a brand with time when its offers finally meet customers’ needs and expectations”.

Women`s world cup france 2019 (dreamstime.com, 2019)

 

 

Following the success of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, are many of the major brands being inconsistent by failing to continually meet these requirements and therefore, are they missing out on valuable marketing opportunities and continued growth?

 

Main Flow Mainstream Direction (Pixabay, 2020)

 

‘Breaking through the mainstream’, capturing a new audience and increasing the awareness of the game have until recently, all been major barriers within women’s football.

 

The anticipation of a major tournament can help provide a springboard for major investment and provide the opportunity to engage with the customer at the right place and right time. A brand can anticipate and capture the customer mood simply by grasping significant moments, as distinguished by Weiss (2019).

Last summers World Cup was ‘record breaking with over 1 billion viewers’ with many brands looking to market a new audience. Head & Shoulders ‘3 lines’ campaign, inspired fans to support the England Women’s Football Team by being creative with their own hair styles and Lucozade Sport launched two limited edition bottles as part of it’s £2 million sponsorship deal with the England Team featuring two of the players, Steph Houghton and Nikita Parris.

Footballers feature on Lucozade bottles for the first time in World Cup Lioness promo (McCarthy, 2019)

Further sponsorship deals were provided by Visa (full sponsorship to the World Cup) and Barclays who stepped in to sponsor the Women’s Super League from this season in a deal seen to be “the biggest ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand”.

In an effort to enhance the game further, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) launched a strategy with the aim to double the number of female players in Europe by 2024, a campaign which followed an ‘initiative’ carried out in 2017 named Together #WePlayStrong which was aimed at ‘transforming perceptions of women’s football and encouraging girls to take up and continue playing the game’.

FA Women’s Super League fixtures for the 2018-19 Season (Asa, 2018)

With the Women’s Super League now attracting a much wider audience and other domestic leagues and competitions gaining more coverage, are we witnessing a continued growth of sponsorship deals and better resources to enable further opportunity?

Creative thinking, introducing new concepts and engaging with your audience may well bring continued success however, will the major sports brands continue to capitalise on the big events, gain valuable promotion and maximise their profits or, do more actually need to wake up to the marketing opportunities that Women’s football can offer.

References

Better Retailing. (2019) Lucozade Sport launches new Lionesses packs. Available at: https://www.betterretailing.com/products/lrs/lucozade-sport-launches-new-lionesses-packs/ (Accessed: 18 December 2019).

Carp,S. (2019) models’:Inside Visa’s game-changing Women’s World Cup plans. Available at: https://www.sportspromedia.com/interviews/womens-world-cup-fifa-visa-sponsorship-change-the-game-interview (Accessed: 28 December 2019).

Garry,T. (2019) Women’s Super League: Barclays agree multi-million sponsorship deal. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47605807 (Accessed: 15 January 2020).

Goal.com. (2019) Get creative and Join the Pride – Back England’s Lionesses with 3 Lines. Available at: https://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/get-creative-and-join-the-pride-back-englands-lionesses-with/1cssisdl6kkvb1tz6wuttm94k7 (Accessed: 18 December 2019).

Quilter, J. (2019) How Brands and marketers can take advantage of the growing popularity of women’s football during the Women’s World Cup. Available at: https://marketing.twitter.com/emea/en_gb/insights/womens-world-cup-a-potential-scoring-opportunity-for-brands (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Rogers, C. (2019) Women’s football must value match days to capitalise on post-World Cup buzz. Available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/womens-football-sponsorship/ (Accessed: 10 February 2020).

Thefa.com. (no date) An Introduction to the FA’s Women’s Leagues and Competitions. Available at: http://www.thefa.com/news/2018/jul/02/fa-womens-leagues-competitions-summary-2019-20 9Accessed: 7 November 2019).

Uefa.com. (2017) UEFA launches Together #WePlayStrong. Available at: https://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/news/023a-0e16861e842c-33d79b3891a0-1000–uefa-launches-together-weplaystrong/ (Accessed: 15 January 2020).

Uefa.com. (2019) #Time for Action. Available at: https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/uefaorg/Womensfootball/02/60/51/38/2605138_DOWNLOAD.pdf (Accessed: 18 December 2019).

Worldfootball.net. (2019) Women Women’s Super League 2019/2020 Available at: https://www.worldfootball.net/competition/eng-frauen-womens-super-league/ (Accessed: 21 February 2020).

Image References

Asa. (2018) FA Women’s Super League fixtures for the 2018-2019 Season. Available at: https://www.womenssoccerunited.com/fa-womens-super-league-fixtures-for-the-2018-19-season/ (Accessed 21 February 2020).

Dreamstime.com. (2019) Women’s world cup france 2019. Available at: https://www.dreamstime.com/women-s-world-cup-france-fifa-women-s-world-cup-will-be-eighth-edition-fifa-women-s-world-cup-quadrennial-image139136489 (Accessed 21 February 2020).

McCarthy. J. (2019) Footballers feature on Lucozade bottles for the first time in World Cup Lioness promo. Available at: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/05/21/footballers-feature-lucozade-bottles-the-first-time-world-cup-lionness-promo (Accessed: 17 February 2020).

Pixabay. (2020) Main Flow Mainstream Direction. Available at: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/main-flow-mainstream-direction-2094389/ (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

Thefa.com. (2019) England’s World Cup Success Inspires Growth In Women’s Football Participation. Available at: http://www.thefa.com/news/2019/nov/05/womens-participation-growth-world-cup-051119 (Accessed: 16 February 2020).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhance Your Performance – You Dope!

WADA holds 5th World Conference on Doping in Sport (New Delhi Times Bureau, 2019)

Spurred on by an increased pressure to win and gain competitive advantage, are the sports stars of today disregarding their ethical values and the integrity of sport by choosing to use performance enhancing drugs.

Performance Enhancing Drugs: The Rhetoric and the Reality (Texas Education, 2016)

The last few decades have seen a steady increase in the number of professional sports stars using steroids with an increased volume of ‘doping’ being reported at various sporting events around the world.

 

Reported cases include the Olympic Sprinter, Ben Johnson being stripped of his gold medal in 1988, the professional cyclist, Lance Armstrong being stripped of his titles, sponsors and association with his own charity in 2012 to the controversy surrounding state-sponsored doping in the Russian Athletics Team which resulted in Russia being handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events in 2019.

Ben Johnson Seoul 1988 (2003)
Lance Armstrong – Caricature (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical misuses in the 21st century sport industry are more prominent and deliver greater impact than ever before”. The disgraced sports star who is found guilty may be viewed as displaying no remorse with regard to the detrimental effect it has on their chosen sport and that the will to win far outweighs the damaging effect on the sports brand.

If we take into consideration the view that “the athlete’s image is actually the product” (Bruton, 2016, pg 64) we may not be able to dispute the fact that an increased use of steroid use may cause serious harm to the brand.

Athlete Running Motion (Pixabay, 2020)

“The athlete’s using Performance Enhancing Drugs are putting current and future endorsement opportunities at risk”. From a marketing perspective, having an endorser athlete test positive can be a fiasco” (Bruton, 2016. pg 260).

 

Customer demand is greater than ever before and with an increase in social media platforms reporting doping amongst the top athlete’s, just how much of an effect this will have on the image of the sports brand remains to be seen.

In August 2015, Sebastian Coe, the President of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), was quoted as saying he “is determined to prove athletics’ world governing body is committed to ridding the sport of drug cheats”.

A recent punishment was handed out on September 30th 2019 when Alberto Salazar, the legendary American distance coach who guided many known athlete’s to Olympic medals, was banned for four years after he was found to have trafficked testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance.

Perhaps the governing bodies are being pro-active however, there are many who will argue that there is not enough action being taken and that ‘doping appears remarkably widespread among elite athletes and remains largely unchecked’.

Cheat to win bracelets (slowrobot.com, 2016)

Figures provided in February 2018 stated ‘the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) tests blood and urine samples from several hundred thousand Olympic athletes every year. About 1-2 percent of these samples test positive’ (Specktor, 2018). On the contrary, other figures provided stated ‘up to 57 percent admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs’ (Ulrich et al, 2017).

By keeping an open mind and remaining impartial, do you envisage doping having a serious impact on the the credibility of the professional athlete and sports brand alike or, will we witness a steady increase in the amount of action being taken by the governing bodies in order to keep the ‘spirit of sport’ alive?

 

Reference List

BBC Sport (2015) Doping in Sport: What is it and how is it being tackled? Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/33997246 (Accessed: 10 February 2020).

BBC Sport (2019) Lance Armstrong: I wouldn’t change a thing about doping. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/48393491 (Accessed: 27 January 2020).

BBC Sport (2019) Russia banned for four years to include 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/50710598 (Accessed: 2 January 2020).

CNN Editorial Research (2019) Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports Fast Facts. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/06/us/performance-enhancing-drugs-in-sports-fast-facts/index.html (Accessed: 10 February 2020).

Mann, Andrea. (2018) September 27, 1988: Ben Johnson is stripped of his Olympic gold medal after failing drugs test. Available at: https://home.bt.com/news/on-this-day/september-27-1988-ben-johnson-is-stripped-of-his-olympic-gold-medal-after-failing-drugs-test-11364007354384 (Accessed: 27 January 2020).

Pritchard, M. and Burton, R. (2014) Ethical Failures in Sport Business: Directions for Research. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/300498497_Ethical_Failures_in_Sport_Business_Directions_for_Research. (Accessed: 4 January 2020).

Richardson. A (2017), ‘History of Doping Cases: Pre World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) 1999’, Strength is Never a Weakness, 21 December. Available at: https://strengthtrainingforyou.blogspot.com/2017/12/history-of-doping-cases-pre-world-anti.html (Accessed: 16 December 2019).

Specktor, B. (2018) Why Is It So Easy to Cheat at the Olympics?. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/61747-how-widespread-olympic-doping.html (Accessed: 11 February 2020).

The Runners World Editors (2019) Oregon Project Coach Alberto Salazar Banned 4 Years for Doping. Available at: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a29312870/alberto-salazar-doping-ban/ (Accessed 20 February 2020).

Ulrich, R. et al (2017) Doping in Two Elite Athletics Competitions Assessed by Randomized-Response Surveys. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-017-0765-4. (Accessed: 2 January 2020).

World Athletics (2019) About World Athletics Available at: https://www.worldathletics.org/about-iaaf (Accessed 27 January 2020).

Image References

DonkeyHotey (2013). Lance Armstrong – Caricature. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/8395957462 (Accessed 6 January 2020)

DPMS (2003) Ben Johnson Seoul 1988. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dpms/448224387 (Accessed: 4 January 2020).2013)

New Delhi Times Bureau (2012). Available at: http://www.newdelhitimes.com/wada-holds-5th-world-conference-on-doping-in-sport (Accessed: 16 December 2019).

Pixabay (no date) Athlete Running Motion. Available at: https://www.google.com/search?q=athlete+image&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwi-sszi9N_nAhUZ_IUKHbSNAl8Q2-cCegQIABAA&oq=athlete+image&gs_l=img.1.0.0l6j0i7i30l4.28307.29794..31317…0.0..0.87.419.8……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….0i7i10i30.jaRNh2KB8vo&ei=KV5OXv75N5n4lwS0m4r4BQ&bih=1292&biw=1233&rlz=1C1GCEB_enGB886GB886&tbs=sur%3Afc&hl=en#imgrc=u4FbZqb0AkFFUM (Accessed: 4 January 2020).

Texas Education (2016). Available at: https://education.utexas.edu/events/performance-enhancing-drugs-rhetoric-and-reality (Accessed: 14 February 2020).