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Blending ‘football economy’ & ‘football marketing’

On a global scale, professional football clubs are struggling to find a ‘sound’ balance between revenues and expenses. Aiming to find a better sense of ‘economic responsibility’, an important working tool for football clubs is ‘strategic segmentation’. Beech & Chadwick (2007, p. 35) states that “the range of interest and motivation of people for sport through participation or viewing or spectating requires a range of marketing strategies to be employed to specifically satisfy diverse ranges and groups of people.” Manchester United has been very successful in terms of generating revenues based on ‘strategic segmentation’. Recently, the English club signed a 4-year commercial deal with INVEX, see more. United added the Mexican banking group to its global portpolio of sponsors and thus secured exclusive rights to create and market United-branded credit cards in Mexico where the club assumingly has approximately 24 mio. fans.

For United, this is great way to ‘connect’ with fans in Mexico while INVEX and United collaboratively provide the fans with exclusive advantages, e.g. discounts at United’s online store and via the Manchester United membership programme. Moreover, cardholders will also have the opportunity to ‘win prizes’ such as match tickets and signed shirts.

When Manchester United acquired Mexican forward Javier Hernandez in 2010, the club found a concrete way to build a bridge to Mexican fans and hence ‘boosted’ its fan demand in Mexico. The country is known for being a very loyal and passionate culture as it refers to football so it makes perfect sense that United attempts to exploit that potential even more. ‘Strategic segmentation’ helps the English club maximize its revenues and there is no doubt that other football clubs can benefit from ‘benchmarking’ themselves against ‘the United way’. Segmentation is about data collection and data processing and definitely directs clubs to gain a deeper understanding of stakeholders’ (sponsors, fans etc.) behaviors, attributes, and needs. Thereby, the clubs can adapt this knowledge to optimize their marketing efforts. What clubs can learn from United in that way is that United is extremely good at utilizing its ‘strategically built’ brand capital to gain access to various markets, which can add to the clubs future business activities.



Beech, J. G., & Chadwick, S. (2007). The marketing of sport. Ft Press.

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