Why soccer clubs should engage in ambassador marketing
Soccer clubs are well established for-profit companies. I know that this statement might not be very romantic in the eyes of a die-hard fan (which I would consider myself, too), but just like any other company, soccer clubs must continually drive innovation and generate profits in order to survive and compete with their rivals.
There is one thing that differentiates a soccer club from other companies: Its fanbase. Soccer clubs might receive a lot of money from centralised institutions and sponsoring, but at the end of the day, it’s the emotional connection to its fans which drives innovation and success. That’s why it is imperative for every soccer club to heavily invest in acquiring more and more fans.
Clubs have defined user engagement as a strategic goal. They have started closer collaboration with local newspapers, opened up new YouTube and Instagram channels, increased the number of events and strengthened their brand culture even in new areas such as E-sports (Think Schalke 04, Wolfsburg, or more recently, Werder Bremen).
One area that soccer clubs are only beginning to engage with is ambassador-platform marketing. The idea here is to let fans recommend events, content or the brand itself to other fans without any paid investment from the club. On the other hand, the fan himself then receives exclusive rewards from his favourite club. Win-Win for both parties indeed.
The difference to classic social media marketing is that these fans are also self-organised on a third-party platform, reducing the work for the club once more. And you know what? Fans also feel great about it. Read on and I will tell you why.
With platforms such as Hypd.co, soccer clubs (or any other brand for that matter) can fully engage in ambassador-platform marketing:
Selling tickets, merchandise and memberships:
With these platforms, the clubs can create campaigns for its events (think concerts, games etc) and can use their fanbase to reach out to their friends, family and social groups. Remember. A recommendation from a friend is much more valuable and lasting than from someone you do not know.
No cold selling, no high CAC- sounds like a profitable sales-channel.
We talked about this before: Soccer clubs constantly need to increase the number of fans. They work very hard to create engagement with their brand. This is where the real power of P2P marketing comes in: By providing special rewards (and thus creating a real exclusivity), the fan feels like entering the inner circle of the club. Think of meet and greets and other exclusive events, the club can do great things for its fans. As a lifelong fan and now an ambassador for my club, this makes me feel special. And of course, I will share this experience with all of my friends and colleagues. See the benefit of ambassador marketing yet?
All in all, soccer clubs and other brands should definitely consider ambassador marketing one of the core elements of their marketing mix.