It does not generate enough interest. It is hard to watch women’s football matches on TV. Or, fans barely come to games. They might be excuses or truth, but women’s football needs to grow to achieve profitability.
As Seth Godin, a distinguished American marketing expert, explains in his book Purple Cow, a product or idea must first be marketed to innovators to succeed. The Product Adoption Curve shows the different phases through which a product successfully survives from birth until its removal. Focusing on women’s football, we could deduce that in most markets where it is present, it is in a growth phase.
How can we try to attract first the masses of the center of the curve without having seduced the innovators? Why consolidated sports marketing techniques are being used in a growing market? We must start by targeting the ones that will become our “prophets” spreading our idea along the curve. Thus, we should first focus our marketing efforts on improving all women’s football P’s:
- More product, less communication. Before promoting an average and boring product, we must design an experience worth telling our friends. “But, we do not have enough money…” That is why it will be crucial to boost creativity to become original.
- Offer differentiating reasons. In order to reach a maturity market phase, we will need to provide our innovators with endless tools that awake their curiosity and, finally, tell their circles. Only this way, target audience will start growing.
- Fan obsession. If fans are the real CEO’s of your businesses. If women’s football is also for and because of fans, their needs, opinion and preferences should be ours. Otherwise, how will they ever come to the game if they don’t feel special?
At WEURO 2017, I could see first-hand how small presents for fans were perceived as priceless gifts. Free cheering and animation elements given in gates, flexibility to greet and take pictures with players, TV sets involving fans or crowded fan walks from city centres to the stadiums. They are the hidden stars, and they possess all decision-making power.
It is clear that the marketing department can not step into the pitch to score goals. However, using the transparency, accessibility and sports spirit breathed in many women’s football games as an attraction tool can be very effective. In short, from the outside in, from the fan to the marketing, from a surprising product to a free promotion.