Domino Effect

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, if successful, can provide the opportunity for increased revenue and economic growth through advertising, sponsorship and social media.

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. “A globally recognised brand” which brings 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 whom perform week-in, week-out on the pitch however, “sustained decline in performance is often addressed by changing manager” and he is often the one person who is held accountable and used as a ‘scapegoat’ when a response is sought.

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 now witnessing others following suit with a ‘domino effect’ taking shape?

“Fans of clubs and media outlets place increasing pressure on CEOs to make a change at managerial level when sporting results are perceived to be poor”and this is “particularly pertinent in the professional football industry”.

Reviewing the premiership season around the festive period of last year, an article provided by i-news on 27th November related to which Premiership manager may be the next casualty and “fall foul of the December curse and have their Christmas ruined?”.

Two managers, Unai Emery (Arsenal) and Marco Silva (Everton) were listed as favourites, both of whom have since being sacked by their relative clubs. Closely behind was Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham United) who, low and behold, was sacked on 28th December!

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 yet, there are several factors which determine any outcome 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.

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(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

 

 

 

 

Red Bull

Red Bull, the energy drink which “vitalizes body and mind”, may “give you wings whenever you need them” whilst providing an energetic dimension to your vodka.

As energetic as 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 history, from foundation in 1984, the first launch in 1987 and to a total of 6.8 billion cans being sold by 2018, Red Bull has indeed put quite a ‘fizz’ into various people’s lives ranging from ‘college students to busy professionals’ and has even gone so far as now being recognised as one of the world’s leading sports brands.

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.

With a structured marketing strategy built around it’s 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 to enjoying enormous success in the world of Formula 1, it’s involvement in extreme sports, cricket and rugby, Red Bull has captivated a new audience.

Slowly racing into the 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 it’s 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 went on to retain the title over the next 3 years.

In 2005, the brand began it’s 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.

The strength of the Red Bull brand is geared around the vision of the company ‘to uphold standards while maintaining the leadership position and delivering superior customer service in an efficient and profitable manner’.

Offering a primary service which entails exciting and immersive experiences can provide a great opportunity to gain customer loyalty, a greater amount of brand exposure and increased profitability.

Red Bull remains focused on delivering a quality brand by captivating it’s audience with dynamic, exciting and tension fuelled sporting action. Their involvement with extreme sports offers a different dimension to the more traditional sport. It anticipates and drives the customer mood with mentally stimulating action consisting of high speed, high risk and extreme adventure.

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The ability of Red Bull to achieve so much is linked to the specificity of its core values, mission and vision statements. The company vision is safe considering the declaration presented by its vision statement that Red Bull will remain focused on maintaining high standards and leadership in the sector. This is strengthened by the strategies implied in the mission statement of this company such as prioritization of progressive ideas. The core values further put Red Bull in a winning position as they create a serene working environment for everyone involved with the firm.

 

To preserve its reputation, this company emphasizes on quality

Red Bull vision statement is “to upholding Red Bull standards while maintaining the leadership position in the energy drinks category when delivering superior customer service in a highly efficient and profitable manner.”

Red Bull mission statement is “giving wings to people and ideas.” Though manufacturing the soft drinks is the primary operation of Red Bull, there is so much more than the company does as inferred in this statement. The statement does this through:

Improving lives. This company is renowned for the support that it gives to a wide range of sporting activities and teams globally. By sponsoring these events, Red Bull contributes to the growth and development of societies as these sports are economically and socially beneficial.

Distinguished products and services. Red bull is labelled as one of the most satisfying soft drinks across the globe. It is produced under very strict and specific conditions that make it a competitive product. Other than this, the company provides other products while maintaining top standards.

Women’s Football

In a fast, ever changing world, for a sports brand to remain successful they must focus on a consistent approach which recognises and meets the consumer expectations and needs.

Following the success of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, are the major brands now becoming inconsistent by failing to continually meet these requirements and therefore, are they missing out on valuable marketing opportunities whilst at the same time, continued growth?

‘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.

Presenting the opportunity to ‘leverage a culturally relevant moment‘ and tap into a growing market, the World Cup (held in France 2019) was a major tournament which provided the opportunity to engage with the customer by offering exciting and immersive experiences through various social media channels.

The anticipation of the World Cup helped to provide a springboard toward the launch of numerous sponsorship and advertising campaigns, many of which were seen to be ‘a signal of the growing interest for women’s football across the industry‘.

Major brands who seized the opportunity to capture, anticipate and drive customer mood, included Head & Shoulders ‘3 lines‘ campaign, inspiring fans to support the England Women’s Football Team by being ‘creative’ with their own hair styles and Lucozade Sport which 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.

Substantial investments and 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 next season in a deal seen to be “the biggest ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand”.

In an effort to emulate and support these campaigns, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations, for the first time, launched a women’s football strategy, aiming to double the number of female players in Europe by 2024 and FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) launching it’s ‘Together We Play Strong’ campaign in 2017 which targeted growth and participation in the game.

With the Women’s Super League now attracting a much larger and wider audience along with other domestic leagues and competitions gaining more coverage, do the major sports brands now need to focus on a niche marketing strategy and the huge commercial benefit that may be developed through this?

By heightening the profile of the sport, Women’s football is indeed raising the stakes and the marketing opportunity for sponsors and sports brands alike. This may  provide the ideal platform for brands to convey their credentials and recognise the enormous potential to move forward with.

‘Smarter’ brands may well see the benefits offered however, to achieve continued success in a competitive world, “sport brands must face the difficult challenge to innovate to remain competitive” (Sport Brands, Bouchet) and it remains to be seen whether “more need to wake up to the opportunity that women’s sport can offer”.

 

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Enhance Your Performance – You Dope!

Spurred on by an increased pressure to win and gain a competitive advantage, are the sports stars of today disregarding their ethical values and the integrity of sport by choosing to use performance enhancing drugs (ref 1).

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

Reported cases include the Olympic Sprinter, Ben Johnson being stripped of his gold medal (ref) in 1988, the professional cyclist, Lance Armstrong being stripped of his titles, sponsors and association with his own charity (ref) in 2012 to the controversy surrounding the Russian Athletic Team’s ban from International competitions in (ref) November 2015 due to ‘state-sponsored doping'(ref).

Ethical misuses in the 21st century sport industry are more prominent and deliver greater impact then ever before”.

Whilst these individual influences may well be characterised and judged differently across the various sporting platforms, we may well not be able to dispute the fact that an increase in the use of steroids (ref) will bring  irreversible collateral damage.

The disgraced sports star who is found guilty of doping may well be seen to have displayed no remorse toward the impact it has on their chosen sport and that the desire to win far outweighs the adverse effect that a suspension, large fine or even a lifetime ban would have on their personal life.

‘The athlete’s image is actually the product'(Sports Marketing book) with many consumers being influenced by a ‘celebrity status’ and ‘knowing that a celebrity uses a particular brand can create a perception of that brand based on the celebrity’s image’.

Believe it or not, the fact remains that we are now hearing and learning about these cases on a more regular and wider scale and with a higher frequency of steroid use, surely the likelihood of a professional sports star being caught will increase and that the detrimental impact that this will have on sport in general will decrease?

On the contrary, there are many who may argue that this will not be the case due to the low and amount of action being taken and punishment being handed out by the Sports governing bodies.

The president of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation), former Olympic Champion, Lord Sebastian Coe, was quoted as saying he “is determined to prove athletics’ world governing body is committed to ridding the sport of drug cheats”.

Figures provided by WADA’s (World Anti Doping Agency) Executive Summary in 2017, records a 7.1% increase in the number of overall anti-doping testing samples analysed and a 7.75% increase in the number of ABP (Athlete Biological Passport) blood samples analysed however, this report also records a 1.60% decrease in the number of AAF’s (Anabolic Androgenic Steroids).

Figures like those above may actually indicate that the governing bodies are being pro-active and looking for a way forward to tackle the ever increasing problem of performance enhancing drugs within sport.

A more recent punishment handed out by the IAAF was that on September 30th of this year when Alberto Salazar’s (the legendary American distance coach who guided Mo Farah to six world titles and four Olympic gold medals)World Championship accreditation was deactivated after he was found to have trafficked testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance to multiple athletes.

Nevertheless, in contrast, the sophisticated sports star may use prohibited substances around the ‘off-season’ and the use may take place in remote locations that may prove difficult for governing body officers to access and control.

From missed marketing opportunities to tarnishing the credibility of the individuals chosen sport and, at the same time, jeopardising the reputation of sport on a wider scale, will the ‘spirit of sport’ be protected by the governing bodies or will we witness sports stars cheating on a more regular basis?

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