Kuala Lumpur: In an attempt to help boost the average number of attendances in the domestic leagues, a one-day workshop for Ad-hoc Committee for Professional Football was held at the AFC Headquarters on Monday.
Representatives from the English Premier League (EPL), English side Fulham FC, J-League, Vietnam League, Qatar League, former Asian champions from Japan, Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka, and 2003 ACL winners Al Ain from the UAE, shared their marketing and sales strategies with AFC’s Member Associations. (And where were Singapore with their much lauded strategic plan? I'm sure the Premier League and everyone would just love the idea of free tickets and ice cream as teasers to tempt fans through the turnstiles!)
At the outset, AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam said it was a chance to exchange experiences among the Asian countries, leagues and clubs and also between other confederations, especially Europe.
“Professionalism will remain a priority for AFC in the coming years,” said Bin Hammam. “The presidents of the MAs are also trying to enhance the role of professionalism in their respective countries but there is still a long way to go.(Ain't that the truth)
“We are proud of what we have achieved in the last four years but this is just the beginning and a first step in a thousand mile journey,” he said.
“Changing the mentality is never an easy task and it will encounter resistance but step by step we are going to achieve this goal, especially if we have a model to follow.
“The English Premier League is a good model to follow because of their reach, fans, sponsors, TV, etc.” (And sheer naked greed)
EPL’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Richard Masters gave a presentation on the Premier League’s model while Fulham’s Sales Director, Olly Dale highlighted the club’s marketing and promotional strategies.
Establishment of a fan base and community programmes, fan service and hospitality in the stadium, marketing and promotion to increase the brand value of the league, customer research and management and ticketing strategies and sales methods were some of the topics discussed during the workshop.
Update - For your information, Singapore was represented by some gals from the FAS Marketing department, together with the FAS General Secretary. I heard they had a rather lively discussion with the rest of them about attendances and why somethings work in Singapore and not others.
Thanks for the correction!