As part of a personal “sports MBA”, I travelled to Zurich, Switzerland, two weeks ago. I believe in creating your own courses, conferences or talks, aiming directly to who you can learn the most. You’ll make the most from your time and money.
During my short and intense trip to Zürich, I met influential people in women’s football, from clubs, national associations and FIFA. In this post, I want to share with you the most valuable thoughts I brought back to Barcelona.
- It’s not about money, but mindset. Women’s football is not merely a social and CSR campaign to gain some followers. The change we seek to make starts in ourselves, treating women’s football how it deserves in terms of high-qualified teams, enough resources and courage to ask what is needed.
- Emphatise with sponsors. We need to start putting ourselves on their shoes and educating them about the ROI women’s football can offer. A task of explaining, illustrating and showing how they can benefit from it along with storytelling is vital to attract sponsors’ interest and investment.
- Creative awareness. Embracing the fact that women’s football is not everyday on the news, we should look for alternative, new and different ways to put the sport in street conversations. Digital and offline channels with campaigns set to become viral and leveraging opportunities other sports are not taking. For instance, player-fan relationship.
- Top clubs should lead by example. Clubs like Wolfsburg, Olympique Lyon, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain or FC Barcelona are the ones who should invest and dedicate enough time, money and energy to break the ceiling. They are the ones who can generate positive inertia for the rest.
- The opportunity cost is to high. We are making steps forward while clubs and leagues are empowering themselves but, let’s consider the opportunity costs of specific campaigns and impacts that aren’t extended to longer periods of time. That is, for instance, strengthening UWCL promotional campaign during all the season.
- Sign up for a challenge. Women’s football demands raising your hand in favour of a problem or a change that needs to be solved. Let’s not wait for opportunities and take the responsibility to create the day to day we all would like to see. Initiative and resourcefulness are key skills to make this happen.
- Protecting its spirit. If accessibility, purity and familiar atmosphere is what makes women’s football special, let’s ensure these ingredients are kept as sacred while money, attention and people at the party grow. Otherwise, we would be getting women’s football closer to what we would like to avoid from men’s football.
- Working on present and future structures. Production is for today and production capacity is for tomorrow. Big investments in clubs spent in non-constructive ways can have detrimental consequences. More money throughout leagues and federations ensuring today’s output but also solid structures for tomorrow’s outcome is what we need.
Yesterday, FIFA launched it’s Women’s Football Strategy to grow participation, enhance commercial value and build the foundations. You can watch it here.