The Role of Digital Marketing in the Football Business

Digital marketing is a core part of the football business. As clubs create personalised content to connect with the fans, the need to reach out to a wider audience is apparent. Furthermore, the social media boom opened new channels for communication between clubs, sponsors, and fans. Hence, the need for digital marketing is at its peak right now.

The Future is Digital

The surge in digital traffic has enhanced the relationship between fans and clubs. This trend is quite prominent among the younger generation, who expect to stay to follow the events with instant updates and engage in discussion, which is not possible with just traditional media.

This is why a 21st Century football fan participates in forums, follows Twitter feeds, interacts with blogs, watches dedicated YouTube channels, views highlights on TikTok or Instagram, shares their opinion on public posts, and much more. The urge to stay connected with their favourite club 24/7 is much stronger and they have the means to do it.

The modern fan’s interaction with the club isn’t limited to match days. In fact, they don’t necessarily have to be present in the stands to feel at one with the club. Fanbases aren’t limited geographically anymore. And a die-hard Premier League fan might reside in Asia and not miss a thing!

Digital Marketing for the Football Industry

The younger generation of football fans is more sensitive to the commercial association. Hence, marketers must take the inspirational approach or risk serious repercussions from the viewers. Marketing for the football business is more about inspiring the younger generation. Hence, one of the most effective strategies is inviting the top athletes to spread the message.

But that alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Generating visibility and engagement is tough. As the number of apps and websites keep growing by the day, marketers must come up with new ways to inspire young fans and encourage them to participate in the conversation. Fans can be fickle and are always on the lookout for new and interesting content.


So, unless what you’re offering is unique and relevant, or the fans have a deep connection with the club, don’t expect them to stick with the club through thick and thin. Social media is a powerful tool in boosting interaction, but there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success. Hence, clubs must leverage the technology to keep the fans entertained.

Creating a steady stream of quality content is hard work that requires a lot of expertise. Some sports organizations hire dedicated digital marketing personnel, while others use services from digital marketing agencies such as Revpanda.

Using Digital Marketing for Your Growth

Social media is important not only for the clubs, but for other stakeholders as well. Sponsors can use their partnering club’s success to spread their message and boost engagement. The sport’s governing bodies can also use social media to increase brand awareness for the sport, and instantly give the newest updates to fans. 

If we were to take a look at another sport, Formula 1 completely revamped their social media strategy in 2016 to become more approachable. It includes active engagement with fans on Twitter and Instagram, in addition to race highlights, podcasts and interviews on their YouTube channel, and an original series on Netflix. Their audience has expanded for three years consecutively, with social media in particular enjoying a 48.3% increase in impressions during 2020. 

This is one of the most successful examples of using digital marketing to keep in touch with your existing fans and attracting new audiences. By publishing quick, bite-sized and easily shareable highlights, you can grow your audience in a natural way, because fans will share a funny mishap on the pitch or an impressive goal to their friends, thus exposing them to your brand.

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James Crawford

Promoted to editor in 2016, James has met famous footballing faces from Robbie Savage to John Barnes. Very passionate football fan and writer and has a degree in journalism,

Latest posts by James Crawford (see all)

James Crawford

Promoted to editor in 2016, James has met famous footballing faces from Robbie Savage to John Barnes. Very passionate football fan and writer and has a degree in journalism,

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