Thursday, June 18, 2009

Confederations Cup: Unmarketable?


So says South African journalist Chris Moerdyk in a scathing editorial News24.com, a South African news web site.

Take a look ... also, make sure to read some of the harsh comments Mr. Moerdyk receives for his opinion, of which I agree ...

Confederations Cup important? Sure, I suppose so.

They're still glorified friendlies in my opinion. I'm more eager to see World Cup qualifying and the big show come next June.

Still, the games have been fun. And the vuvuzela ... oh, the vuvuzela ...

Here's the article ... agree?
While local football organisers have been singularly stupid and more than just a touch arrogant in handling the issue of marketing the Confederations Cup, when you look at it logically the event is probably unmarketable anyway.

I mean, just what do the critics mean when they say it hasn't been marketed? I get the impression that what most of them wanted to see was banners, flags and billboards all over the place - at airports, in main streets and shopping centres.

The point I want to make is would that have helped sell more tickets? Would that have attracted more TV viewers? In a nutshell, is hype on its own enough to do a marketing job?

And the answer is definitely no.

Like any product, a sporting event has to have certain essentials before it can be marketed.

It has to be relevant. It has to be desirable. And most of all it has to be affordable.

What made the recent IPL such a success? Certainly not a lot of marketing hype before it started. In fact, there was hardly any. However, the IPL was relevant in terms of cricket lovers being able to go and see some of the world's top players in action. It was also affordable.

Sure, the Confed Cup will see some of the world's top players in action. But, it is chickenfeed compared with a lot of the world's great football contests and with what's coming up in less than a year. And from what I am told about ticket prices, it is hardly affordable.

So, no amount of hype, marketing, pizzazz, billboards, flags and posters would really have done much to entice more interest than is already there.

And given that the objective of marketing is create and raise awareness of a product or service, I would suggest that anyone who was even vaguely interested in football knew darn well that the Confed Cup was coming.

Captive audience

Frankly, the only possible reason for making a massive marketing effort for the Confed Cup would have been to promote South Africa as a tourism and investment destination. But then, would this have been an efficient investment?

Probably not, given that the big publicity that this country will receive will be during the global TV broadcasts of this event and the 2010 World Cup when the country will be showcased.

That in my opinion, will be the most important part of the overall marketing effort because there will be a captive audience of billions.

Frankly, I'm not convinced that the Confed Cup is that marketable. Let's face it, the whole concept was created purely as an almost token dress rehearsal for World Cups. Marketing a sports event is damn difficult and sometime utterly pointless when the product isn't right.

Take the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa. When they played against the Sharks last Wednesday, the stadium was practically empty. No amount of marketing would have made it any fuller. Why? Because with no Springboks in the Sharks team, the Lions were effectively playing against a very second rate team which they predictably thrashed.

Which meant that the product in that case, just wasn't relevant. It was a bit of a farce and the rugby public realised that before the game even started and just stayed away. No amount of marketing would have changed anything.

14 comments:

Mike said...

It seems mixed on weather people like them. I like drums more at games. It must be loud though on the fields with them all blowing.

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