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Posts from the ‘Football Finance’ Category

Does it ‘meta’?

Meta- verse, Meta-sphere, does it even ‘meta’? See what I did there, ha. One thing is for sure, with the rebranding of Facebook, the meta-philosophy is gaining more attention. It was sometime back that a ‘virtual world’ was discussed, but there appears growing recognition and with technology evolving at pace, us marketers look for the next big thing.

So what is this meta-thing? And what could it mean for those of us involved with sport. I turn to the musings of somr respected ‘scholars’ to discover more facts.

Mara Kottke at Beyond The Match states: “Meta is seen as a “collective project created by people around the world and open to all.” Her same reporting comments: “Rights holders and brands can also use the metaverse and its precursors. Roblox, a platform where users can create and share their own games, is another prototype of the Metaverse. Football clubs such as Barcelona and Liverpool have already worked with Roblox: together they developed in-game content so that users could equip their avatars with jerseys and fan scarves. Since people by nature like to collect, the metaverse offers a “business-to-avatar” approach to showcase one’s own interests to others with items in the virtual world.” At this point we start to realize that meta-thingy is only limited by ones’ imagination. But monetisation or return on investment will be drivers to consider in our commercial activities, after all our careers are more than a gaming experience.

[See: https://beyond-the-match.com/en/insights/metaverse-new-opportunities-for-sports-marketing/]

Yesterday, we spoke to a household name brand and blue chip company about its intentions. The response: “what is it?” tells us much. The rules of this game are yet to be established as the wonders of technological platforms are tested, but be sure of one thing, in one version or another, it is coming.

LaSource published a quote that: “Real-time 3D content— will account for almost half of all visual digital content by the end of the decade”. With a predicted three percent currently, this is somewhat a tsunami of change. But it doesn’t need to be an alternative from the norm for sports marketers, more added value and additional complementary opportunities where ‘virtual’ drives ‘real’ world behaviour and engagement. Fans merchandise can help personalize avatars, yet with currency income streams can follow. Noteable content can mimic desired out comes from traditional marketing spend. Early adopters of e-sports sponsorship included: Coca Cola, Red Bull and BMW. Teams and players have been beneficiaries of expenditure. Why not? It creates more channels and tactics to explore partnerships and collaborative, joined-up promotions.

The pandemic has been an accelerator. The potential echoed here: “Today, nearly every company has a webpage. And soon, they will all have a real-time presence in the metaverse.”

[See: https://www.lasource.io/news/why-the-sport-industry-must-be-aware-and-understand-the-metaverse]

Manchester City is recruiting additional staff with a meta-focus. The job descriptions read as a terms of reference to other corporates that might be considering a first step in to the unknown. At ACROBAT FCSM, we are evaluating tactics, strategy and returns for brands in sportswear and a high-profile team.

This is all so exciting, but calculated risks will avoid wastage or another contribtuon to that failed fad corner.

LaSource shares other decisions: “In 2021, the NBA announced the creation of the “crossover event” with NBA outfit skins, tournaments, creative mode, personal players lockers, etc”

Early adopters included sports marketing giants like IMG which has signed deals with 23 football clubs globally to be part of the addiction that is Fortnite.

So Fortnite and other mega brands are at it. Facebook and Microsoft too. The philosophy that we are embarking towards is shared in this recent quote:

“Every brand will need a metaverse strategy in the future and the ones that have them now are at the forefront.”

Christina Wootton, Vice President, Brand Partnerships, Roblox

[See: https://www.sportspromedia.com/from-the-magazine/metaverse-sports-industry-tech-ar-vr-unity-roblox-facebook-peter-moore/]

Sport Business recently predicted: “Indeed, if the expectations of Mark Zuckerberg et al materialise, the metaverse will revolutionise the way people consume sport and raise the bar for fan engagement to unprecedented heights.”

[See: https://www.sportbusiness.com/2021/11/what-does-the-metaverse-mean-for-sport/]

There in growing interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across the digital world and could be catalyst to activations in the metaverse.

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Adrian Stores is CEO at ACROBAT FCSM. More of a strategic consultancy, but with firm finger on the pulse of digital technologies in marketing. A specialist in the sports and leisure sectors with clients globally, it works with trusted partners to ensure maximum exposure on realistic budgets, delivering ROI.

It’s not coming HOME!

Well I prepared my English, war-cry equivalent, video clip, to celebrate victory. The Win didn’t come, but the footage is here anyway – it would be a shame to go to waste. 

So football isn’t coming home and like many with the benefit of hindsight we ‘post mortem’ the Tournament and Finale.

England got to a Tournament final. Probably unexpected and nevertheless a great achievement by a Team showing superb togetherness. For me it never was “football coming home” – as only the World Cup means that ultimate accolade to mirror 1966.  But a step in the right direction, nevertheless.

The statistics show we were the second best team and I don’t begrudge the Italians being crowned Champions. They were the better Team in the Euros and Final and deserving.

It is a shame racism raises its ugly head again, as I like many never even thought of the colour of the players’ skin, before or after any of the failing penalties. It all seemed so orchestrated, that we put on.our best ‘pen’ takers and lift that Trophy. Well sorry to say it, but those penalty misses were poor. Didn’t see any signs of practice makes perfect there.

Hopefully the younger players including those who missed penalties will benefit from Tournament experience and take the better aspects of performances in to Qatar 2022. Blending with experience is a must – the defence was a credit throughput and the combination of blue, Stones and red, Maguire awesome.  Shaw was a candidate for England player of the Euros (though no doubt Mourinho will still try and undermine!). 

I’d obviously have preferred a Stockport County return to the EFL over a Euros win this time. But I’ll dream again in 2022 that both that and a World Cup victory could result. This adaptation of the England and Stockport crests hits it home for me (@OTCountyCulture) and the message of us ‘dreamers’. What is spectating, following and supporting without hope? Some countries and so called fans have branded us arrogant, with our singing ‘football’s coming home’. Clearly, they can’t understand the lyrics.

So what else isn’t coming home? Thinking maybe any future World Cup hosting with deficiencies in security. Not only a safety concern but a serious concern with potential terrorism targeting. Media coverage also does us no favours with fans being tarred with same brush, yet a minority of a minority are the culprits.

What is coming home? Likely more COVID19 cases with uncontrolled or at best, inadequate, major events. And the usual suspects jump on the bandwagon for self-publicity or politics to state the bleeding obvious.

Isn’t it amazing that something that brings so much togetherness – also can be so divisive.

Turkey: Foreign players rule

So our friends at the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has brought in the new foreign player rule. The new laws stipulate that any Club can only have a maximum of eight ‘foreign’ players on the pitch at any given time and no more than fourteen in the squad.

We checked with some of our esteemed contacts and former clients and the instant feedback was:

“It is scandalous that the decision was taken on the night of match which was played badly and said goodbye to the Euro2020.”

KILAVUZ GÖRSEL ÇÖZÜMLERİ VE REKLAMCILIK SAN. TİC. A.Ş.

 “This is going back to old rule which local players worth more then their ability. At the moment there are players who started their career in Turkey and play in teams like Leicester, Juventus, Liverpool, Lille, Frankfurt because they have to develop themselves to ger better contract, but if it is obligatory to start with locals, you either pay more than worth or play with lower class players. We will see what will happen in future.”

KOC SISTEM BILGI VE ILETISIM HIZMETLERI

“The number of foreign football players is a long term problem in Turkey. There is a high population of young people living in Turkey and many young football players play football in the lower leagues and amateur leagues. There aren’t many football players who are foreign immigrants and Turkish citizens in Turkey. The laws do not allow this. Turkey is not a country of immigrants. Turkey is not multi-cultural like England, France, Germany or Spain. There are not many football players who are Turkish citizens of African origin. In addition, if the number of foreign football players is high, it reflects negatively on the formation of the National Team and prevents young Turkish football players playing in the lower leagues and amateur leagues and progressing to professional football players in the upper leagues. Also, if the number of foreign players is high, it negatively affects the competition between the 4 big clubs (Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor) with the clubs in Anatolia in terms of budgets and transfers. Since Anatolian clubs and lower leagues have insufficient budgets and cannot transfer good foreign players, they cannot compete with the upper leagues with the big 4 clubs. But, if the number of foreign players is low, it reduces the competitiveness of Turkish teams in the Champions League and European Leagues. The Turkish Football Federation sometimes reduces or increases the number of foreign players in order to maintain these balances. My opinion is that Turkish Teams can compete in Europe with no-limit to the number of foreign players in the Super League and lower professional leagues. “

FIRAT UNIVERSITY

🙈

BACHESEHIR UNIVERSITY

Through, UEFA, the TFF has commented:

“Our primary target is to transform Turkish football, into a better structure that educates and develops elite football players and make Turkey a leading power in Europe and the world.”

It needs to do something after the shambolic showing in Euro 2020!

In a statement, the TFF released the spending limits for the 20 clubs competing in the Super Lig. Not one size fits all however, and the limits, can be exceeded for some up to by twenty five percent. For example, Galatasaray will be able to spend the most, with a TL 546 million ($63 million) limit. This takes the full excess allowance into account.

Other restrictions include regulations to prohibit foreign players signing if in excess of 32 years’ old. Guess that rules me out then! Much of this is catalysed by the crazy transfer fees and remuneration packages trying to woo international elite to Turkey. The trend has been under investigation with penalties shown to leading clubs and bans from European competitions. 

Clearly the above is aimed at the Turkish trying to get their own house in order and make a solid future where more opportunities for the indigenous population to thrive.

Flabergasted

It has been muted before and no doubt will be again. Some believe it’s high jinks and a negotiating ploy to get more out of UEFA in advance of imminent meetings. Not this time, I feel, as the concensus of PR from the 6 so-called ‘BIG CLUBS’ cries a done deal. I’m just hearing that BVB Dortmund may have refused to join, yet good on them if so – though the German model of ownership has offered more security to stakeholders including the fans and been applauded previously. It is blatant ‘fat cats’ behaviour, the drivers behind this so called ‘European Super League’ (ESL) with overseas owners of United, Arsenal and Liverpool one tier beneath the former Real Madrid President in the new hierarchy. Will it go ahead? Of course if these ‘big ones’ want it enough. The objective is simply more revenue. A logical ‘target’ with shareholders seeking greater returns on investment. However, what has clearly been betrayed is the fans. No consultation, no advance warning, no solicitation of opinions. Owners can do what they want, but this is adverse to the heritage, tradition and DNA of the “beautiful game“. Reactionary tones suggest bans from Europa and Champions League for Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, City, United and Liverpool. Also, potential dismissing from future participation in the EPL. Then finally, potentially no players from these 6 teams featuring in the Euros or World Cups. I know my Son and I had fun selecting our new England best eleven this morning over breakfast without recourse to any of those six clubs. Will they get their own way? If they want to yes! Will the threats outside the ESL, prove toothless? Who knows? Only time will tell. Claimants to be ‘Football Finance’ experts are now mushrooming on every corner. So just take a peek at this huge wave of continuity, in opinion, against those North West or London owners and their clubs. You’ll detect from those posts that I have selected below, my take on this all. And yes, the silver lining might be cast on County or FC United amongst others.