Social networking and football

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Value Based Management – Home Assignment Number 1

“Pick up a company, and determine how the trends, here, the social networking, affects the business of this company, and then, how this company can impact on this business”

Company chosen : Olympique de Marseille SASP

Mainly since 2006, the wide world of the Internet welcomed a new protagonist: Social Networking.
Facebook, Twitter,Linkedin, Viadeo etc etc, belong to a new kind of tools, which one are actually revolutionizing the communication, the marketing, the companies’ strategy, in one word, the world.

According to Erik Qualman, “social networking changed the way we live and are redefining human interaction and business.” That’s what we’ll try to find out later.

Herea graph showing the history of social networking over the last years (source: 6 degrees)

To illustrate the impact of social networking on a special business, let’s see the football world, and a big club in France, l’Olympique de Marseille.

Social networkings are now a strong tool for every single football club in Europe. Why? Because it is a cheap marketing and communication tool, which doesnot induce large advertisements campaigns, or spending hundreds of millions € on a well known player.

Big clubs (For example, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester Utd, Chelsea etc) have a Facebook page and a Twitter, and they are using them to communicate with their fans.
They found out that there was an opportunity by developing this new trend, and that it could be a veryefficient tool.

Football has the power to gather and link the people all over the world, and now, people can share, discuss, but also criticize or insult their favorites clubs and players through social networking. It’s a revolution that the large business of football has to keep in mind, and adapt themselves to this new trend.

Facebook is an obvious place for football fans to share opinions.Sometimes it’s as simple as someone posting a link to a football news story on their Wall, or maybe a Wall to Wall conversation about football between friends.
On a larger scale, most football clubs will have a Facebook page, where they can post exclusive contents, propose games, in order to win game tickets, jerseys or they can just ask a question, about the team, and waiting for the fans to discussand share about their mind.
To some extent, social networking could also be assimilated to a threat for clubs and national teams. Clubs and fans are not the only one to use Facebook or Twitter to post or receive content, but the players are using Twitter more and more. Indeed, Kaka, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and plenty of others used to be on Twitter. About one year ago, they were “Twitting” inthe changing room one hour before the game, about how they felt today, physically or psychologically and so on. It became too dangerous regarding to, firstly, the concentration required for such a game. They weren’t focused on the game, and their mind was elsewhere, not on the pitch. And, which is maybe worse, it also implied doubts for online betting, with sharing like this confidential informationabout their shape, which could have helped the gamers to bet.

That’s why now, the clubs, in a large majority, forbad the players to “Twit” about the game and the club.

The macro environment changed a lot over the last five years for the business football.
Football clubs had to make their structure evolved to be adapt to this technological revolution (Marketing, communication tool, Twitterfor players etc). Moreover, it appears that the political-legal, economic and socio-cultural environments changed with the needs of the consumers. (Graphic below source 6 Degrees.)

The main point is that Youtube and Dailymotion are full of videos, videos that actually should not be on this platform. Youtube or Dailymotion don’t own the rights to broadcast them, and the clubs had to react, by...
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