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Forget about most of your fans and sponsors. Forget them.

Once upon a time, there was a humble club in a small town. Because of their strong core values and bold brand positioning as a rebel and disruptive club, they eventually attracted more and more fans to the games. They were a connected community, attending to the stadium because of what they felt rather that what they saw on the pitch. This larger fan base attracted to bigger sponsors, who wanted to pay more and more.

With the new situation, the general manager focused their strategy on becoming international, re-positioning as a new “important” club ready to fight with the big ones. The truth is, the club wasn’t either as competitive on the pitch nor that familiar at the eyes of fans and sponsors. So, the team didn’t met expectations. Over time, 80% of the new fans that had joined because of the rapid growth were no longer showing up and partners were wondering their sponsorship results. 20% of the hard-die fans felt disappointed and deceived. The club went back to having less fans and sponsors than the very beginning.

What can we learn from this story?

1. Take care of 20% of fans and sponsors that represent 80% of your outcome. The rest come and go.

2. Brand positioning is serious. The job of a marketing or brand manager is building brand equity, not damaging it like Adidas with multiple personalities.

3. Look at the mirror and know your strengths, weaknesses and write down where you want to go and with go, you could change the strategy but not the goal.

4. Focus on who matter. Faithful fans will bring more faithful fans and long-run sponsors will attract more of them.

It’s up to you to decide what your priorities are, what to do to achieve them and where to focus your attention on.

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