Globalisation is a much-used word these days and describes the “no holds barred” approach to business. Boundaries have come down, borders have been crossed, workforces are transient and multinational and the rise of satellite TV has made all things accessible.
Football is no exception and today, the top teams are collections of hired hands from all over the world. This has, to some extent, diluted the value and appeal of international football and created a group of “super clubs” that have taken their “brand” global.
Historically, of course, certain clubs have always had their overseas fans. Just look at the programmes of any major British club in the 1970s and 1980s and you will see references to supporters in Spain, France and parts of the world that used to be pink on the world map – in other words, part of the old empire.
Sport was always a prime export of the British Empire, although cricket, rather than football, was the choice of the pith-helmeted classes. Nevertheless, Britain’s football was welcomed around the world and you could always come across a Manchester United or Liverpool fan in the most unexpected places.
Clubs have only really started to capitalise on this in the past decade. When they started to install such corporate grandees as a Chief Executive or Chief Operating Officer, you knew that the game had suddenly taken on a new dimension – business.
Game of the People’s third Insights paper looks at these issues. Key points are:
– The super clubs have become global concerns – no longer representative of their domicile
– Asia Pacific and the United States represent the markets with most potential
– Clubs are reaching out to new audiences – the advent of the multi-language website is a strong indicator of this trend
– With huge supporter groups in other regions, pressure to make teams accessible to audiences in Asia and the US, among others, is increasing.
– A growing middle class in Asia, for example, will create more potential supporters.
Click Global game, global market to see the paper