It’s probably a few hours to the kick-off of the 2013 Tusker Premier League, or rather- thank God football is back. That break of cause worthwhile, the return enticing and the expectation even more appealing. Nothing better describes the Kenyan game in its current state like ‘ready for take-off’ surely not to anywhere near but to the next level.
You and me will somewhat agree, Football is a great unifying factor and not just football- sport as a whole. Personally, I not only view it as a unifying factor, it’s an experience. An experience that not only is felt over the 90 but should start way before and probably revolve around us for a much longer time.
I really can’t be able to remember the first time I watched football, but human character always indicates the first experience helps one build a perception/belief on any activity. For this, you can quite be sure; TPL2013 will be an activity- quite gruesome in nature but quite fulfilling all the same.
And so on the same; I hereby take a look at some of the factors that can make the new season an experience.
Economic Challenges/ Marketing
Away from the fun- everyone is in this for the money after all. As a fan, I expect value for money. As a sponsor I expect my brand to scale the heights, as a player I expect a better salary- a better life, as an owner- my greatest question is, am I making a profit? As a league, are we attracting the best?
It’s never easy, it’s gonna get dirty at times but we got to fix it. A better experience for a fan will mean clubs charge reasonable gate charges for matches, fans need not pay exorbitant amounts for cheap results and cheap play. We though have to accept it’s never gonna go our way in terms of the score line- but again, the question is; was it worthwhile?
Sponsors of cause too deserve the best, not better in this case. Having your logo on club apparel in itself is a honour- Hallo! Honour is two way. As a club you market the brand, do it well and more sponsors will be fighting for you. Fighting of cause means what? More attention, stronger bargaining grounds and of cause the royalties will only get better.
For the player and the owner, some might want to argue it’s no longer an experience- it’s a lifestyle. They are all right; every player wants to get to a club that pays the best. Being paid the best translates to a better life and what’s a better life without a smiling owner? He/She/them need a result.
What happens at the end of the day; three groups of people smiling. This is never easy to get but after all is said and done- the greatest cheer will go to the best balancing act.
Travel, Tourism, Culture
When you look up one synonym of the word Experience; one beautiful word pops up- Adventure.
Every football fan loves adventure otherwise you’re better holed up in the house, listening to football commentary on mute and reading a book at the same time. Basically, what you are doing is reading a book, nothing to do with the game.
Never really worry about their origins and traditional beliefs; fans easily adopt the team’s tradition- soon they know it like they were born with the jersey’s on. Clubs should seek to promote cultures that have been the foundations of the clubs over the years. Doesn’t take a lot of work recruiting- fans in their peculiar ways just need to see something being done and they’ll join.
The bustle and hustle of working from Monday to Friday/Saturday needs a let off and what a better way to do this than with people you share something in common? Fan groups over the years have organised for trips and enjoyment activities on match days and my wish is that this can only get better. The tourism industry seemingly doesn’t seem to note this but organising events that can attract fans on their travels, say sightseeing designated areas along a route to a football match can be such a worthwhile investment.
Club- Fan involvement/ Management
Its common knowledge; human beings loved where they are valued. Long gone are the days when club managements remained as club managements and fans just fans. Surely- things got to be done in a different way now.
Better facilities, channeling of communication, security assurances and even style of play are things fans are more interested in nowadays.
Facilities range from seating arrangement to ticketing process just to mention a few are things the current fan wants to get involved in. It’s a pride of every fan to be sure that his/her club listens to him/her and that whenever an issue arises it will be dealt with amicably. Security breaches and widespread corruption at ticketing centers were common in the past but things have slightly changed. The lessons have been learnt but not without a price. Though some fans are still skeptical about it- it’s high time clubs communicated this to their fans.
But so how do they communicate this? It’s not so long that I wrote about something like this on this blog. TV adverts, Newspaper adverts, word of mouth, text messages and Radio announcements might not just be enough. Most can easily get manipulated but with a proper and well defined channel of communication that the fans can believe in and access easily like an official website, official social media page- it would be easy to engage the fans and get their views but at the same time provide them with a priceless service.
So just like you; I can’t wait for the season to kick off. It’s sure gonna be a long journey, rocky at times, smooth for others, nail biting in some instances but what’s the greatest thing of all? Let’s all market the experience, the brand will grow.