Marketing lessons from the Football League

Football clubs in the UK often come in for a rough ride from the business community due to their lack of strong commercial focus and acumen. At the lower end of the spectrum clubs are getting into financial trouble due to their falling gates, spiralling costs and lack of qulity sponsorship agreements. At the higher end, top clubs are over-spending on players to try and compete at the top level.

I think it is interesting that the recent round of FA Cup games demonstrated how clubs across the leagues in the UK have come to prioritise the tournaments they enter, and to that extent show how clubs are now considering the bigger picture and the longer term.

There were expected to be a number of dicey ties for a number of struggling Premier League clubs including Burnley, Sunderland Bolton and Wigan but all sailed through as their opposition picked teams bearing in mind important league games.

Fielding weakened teams is nothing really new in the modern game, whether it is to win a league, gain promotion or even fight to stay in a league. It shows a commercial and strategic focus which provides a powerful lesson in staying fixated on your business goals, whatever type of business you are in.

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